Play it safe around rivers

YoUNG people and their parents from across Angus are being reminded to play it safe around rivers, reservoirs and lochs during the summer holidays.

Scottish Water are concerned that people might take unnecessary risks around water during the summer holidays if the weather improves.

Anne Marie Dewar, Scottish Water’s regional communities mangager, 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 don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but 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) are backing this message. Peter Cornall, head of leisure safety at RoSPA said: “In previous years, the number of accidental drownings inland has peaked during hot spells.

“We want people to be out and about enjoying the summery weather and ideally swimming at properly-supervised sites such as the local swimming pool.”

Both Scottish Water and RoSPA are asking people to be aware of hidden dangers in man-made structures such as dams, spillways, water intakes, cold deep water, underwater plant life and steep banks.

Mr Cornall said: “If people choose not to go to a supervised site then we urge them to think through the risks of swimming in rivers, reservoirs and lochs before taking the plunge and to make sure they know what to do if something goes wrong.

“We encourage parents and carers to discuss the dangers with their children and to remind them that children should never swim alone in unsupervised locations.

“Among the hazards to consider are that water might be a lot colder than you were expecting and there may be strong currents and underwater debris that you cannot see from the bank. Consider how you are going to get out of the water once you are in it, be honest about your swimming ability and remember that alcohol and swimming never mix.”

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