Scottish Water is reminding people in Angus to play it safe in or near rivers, reservoirs and lochs this summer.
They are advising people not to take risks around watercourses and calling on children and parents in particular to take care near water during the summer holidays and any spells of warm weather we might enjoy.
Latest figures from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) show that in 2012, 371 people drowned accidentally across the UK, of which 43 included children and young people up to the age of 19. Of the 371 drownings, the majority - 203 (55 percent) - took place in inland waters including rivers, canals, lochs/lakes, streams, ponds and reservoirs.
Steve Scott, Scottish Water’s regional communities team manager for Angus, said: “While it’s important that youngsters enjoy their school holidays and that people across Scotland take pleasure in the country’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it’s also vital that they stay safe. “We are reminding parents to keep their children safe and asking adults to act responsibly around watercourses.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is backing Scottish Water’s call. Carlene McAvoy said: “During periods of hot weather and school holidays, there is often a rise in the number of accidental drownings, which is why it is important to be extra vigilant around inland waters, such as rivers, lakes, lochs, quarries and reservoirs.
The water can be a lot colder than expected, which can lead to a swimmer going into cold shock; in the worst case, a swimmer will inhale water and the drowning process begins. There may also be strong currents and underwater debris that you cannot see from the bank, so don’t go alone, and consider how you are going to get out of the water before you get in - be honest about your swimming ability. The safest option is to go swimming at properly-supervised sites.”