Water Safety Scotland (WSS) is urging the public to stay safe around Scotland’s waterways during the current heatwave.
As temperatures continue to stay high, WSS is calling on people to follow the Water Safety Code. While it can be tempting to enter the water in warmer weather, sudden immersion can lead to Cold Water Shock (CWS).
CWS can affect even the strongest swimmers as it overwhelms the ability to breathe and to swim, which can lead to drowning.
With more hot weather on the way, it is important to learn how to keep safe around water, follow local safety guidance and to avoid alcohol on and near waterways.
Last year, 58 people sadly lost their lives to accidental drowning in Scotland; the majority of which were in inland open waterways such as rivers, canals and lochs (67 per cent).
To help reduce drowning fatalities, Water Safety Scotland is highlighting the Water Safety Code and the new UK campaign, Respect the Water (which is due for release on July 25, 2022).
The Water Safety Code is an easy-to-remember three-step code, and provides some lifesaving advice that aims to help keep you and those you are with safe when near open water:
- Stop and Think, Spot the Dangers
- Stay Together, Stay Safe
- In an Emergency, Call 999.
Later on in the month, Water Safety Scotland will be hosting a free Water Safety Open Day at Helix Park, Falkirk to support the second annual World Drowning Prevention Day on July 25, 2022, between 11am – 3pm. At the event, the local communities around Scotland are invited to visit information and activity stands, and watch various demonstrations.
The Helix Park Lagoon will offer opportunities for the public to watch the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS), the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Police rescue capabilities, as well as Newfoundland rescue dogs in action and other demonstrations.
Water Safety Scotland said: “It is important in the hot weather to resist the temptation to enter cold water. Although the air temperature is hot, waterways in Scotland are very cold and entering them can lead to Cold Water Shock. Water Safety Scotland’s key message is to follow the Water Safety Code. This code provides lifesaving information and we urge the public to learn the code and teach their families and friends about it.”
The Water Safety Code can be accessed online here: https://www.watersafetyscotland.org.uk/information/water-safety-code/