Scottish Water has launched a social media campaign #ReservoirSafety to highlight the importance of staying safe and not take risks around rivers, reservoirs and lochs this summer.
The latest figures show that, in 2014, a total of 338 people lost their lives to drowning in the UK.
Dams, steep banks, spillways (overflows), deep cold water and underwater pipe work can present real hazards. And the majority of Scottish Water’s reservoirs are situated in remote locations, meaning there is a lack of immediate assistance and mobile reception can be poor.
Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s chief operating officer, said: “While everyone should enjoy their school holidays or take pleasure in the country’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it’s absolutely vital that they stay safe at all times.
“Safety is a serious issue as while the water may look harmless there are many hidden dangers. We need to ensure children, and parents, are aware of these hazards. We are reminding parents to keep their children safe and asking adults to act responsibly around watercourses.”
Scottish Water is one of 10 partners involved in the Go Safe Scotland online education resource that has been developed to provide young people in Scotland with a variety of key safety messages, one of which is water safety.
George Cairns, the chair of Go Safe Scotland, said: “We welcome Scottish Water’s initiative to raise awareness of water safety, particularly in the run-up to the summer holiday period. The Go Safe Scotland and other websites can be utilised by parents, teachers and indeed children to seek out the appropriate information to how to Go Safe this Summer around water.”
Scottish Water’s advice is also targeted at pet owners. One of the biggest concerns with dog owners is when their pet dives into water, chasing a ball or stick. The pet more often survives such incidents, but the owners, who have attempted to save them, sometimes don’t. Dogs need to be kept on a lead if they are being walked near reservoirs and other bodies of open water.
For more information contact Scottish Water’s Customer Helpline on 0800 0778778 or visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/takecare
To view the Go Safe SCotland resources log on to www.gosafescotland.com/