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17/07/17 13:39

Summer water safety urged

Caution and diligence urged on recreational water activities.

The dangers of undertaking activities in and around water during the summer holidays have been highlighted by Minister for Community Safety Annabelle Ewing.

The message came as Ms Ewing visited Aberdeen Lifeboat station and Water Safety Scotland today, highlighting a number of recent, tragic incidents and viewing new signage installed at Aberdeen Beach by Water Safety Scotland.

Ms Ewing said:

“Scotland’s beaches, rivers and lochs are among our finest natural resources and everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy them, particularly in warmer weather when the sun’s out.

“However, as we have seen on a number of occasions in recent weeks, water can be very dangerous. Whether it’s sailing, swimming, diving or fishing, anyone undertaking recreational activities in and around water must be aware of the risks and take every possible precaution.

“Please pay attention to signage such as the recently installed warnings at Aberdeen beach I have seen today and be aware of tidal patterns if heading into open water. The Water Safety Scotland website has a number of resources if anyone is unsure of the best approach.

“There will be some great opportunities for fun in the water in the coming weeks but I want everyone to be diligent and take a common sense approach.”

Michael Avril, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager added:

“We’re delighted to be welcoming Annabelle Ewing MSP to our lifeboat station in Aberdeen as an advocate for water safety. 30 people lost their lives around the coast of Scotland in 2016, with over half (57%) of those being people who didn’t even intend to enter the water.

“As part of our national drowning prevention campaign – Respect the Water – we’re asking people to ‘fight your instincts, not the water’ to help stay alive if they fall into the water.

“Our research has revealed that six in ten people (61%) in Scotland would follow a potentially life-threatening instinct if they fell unexpectedly into water. The RNLI is now calling on the public to fight their instincts and remember one simple skill – floating – that could save lives from drowning.”

Background

More information on water safety can be found at: http://www.watersafetyscotland.org.uk and https://rnli.org/safety.

For more information about surviving cold water shock please visit www.respectthewater.com.