The RNLI has issued a timely warning for visitors and residents to ‘respect the water’ following two callouts at Kircudbright and one at Portpatrick last week.
The ‘fourth emergency service’ is reminding people that despite the sweltering heat of late, cold water is still a very real danger.
While two of last week’s callouts were to two yachts, which had run into trouble and needed a tow back to the safety of harbour, the third call was to an emergency call of people being in difficulty in Kircudbright Harbour.
The RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked by the coastguard and launched at 11.40pm. The volunteer crew stayed on the scene until all persons, who had been in the water, were accounted for by police officers, who were waiting for them on the shore. The crew then returned the boat to standby service.
The charity’s national summer campaign of ‘Respect the Water’ is aimed at drowning prevention. It highlights the risks, helps you avoid them and gives advice to keep you and those around you safe.
It can be accessed via the RNLI’s website at: https://rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water.
In addition, with the start of the school summer holidays being accompanied by a spell of fine weather, Scottish Water and Police Scotland are echoing a similar warning not to take risks around open water.
Scottish Water is promoting its social media campaign #ReservoirSafety and has produced a video to highlight the importance of safety around open water. This can be viewed at: www.scottishwater.co.uk/reservoirvideo.
A police spokesman said: “Even on hot days open water can be extremely cold and can cause shock and cramps, obstacles may be hidden just beneath the surface of the water as well as weeds and dangerous currents.
“There is no way to tell how deep the water is and there is no lifeguard on duty if you get into trouble and cannot get out because of steep or slippy banks. Really strong swimmers can still get into difficulty.
“We want everyone to enjoy the summer safely, so make sure that you and your children are aware of the hazards and take a little extra care.”
Michael Avril, RNLI Community Safety Partner, said: “Losing someone to drowning is a shattering experience, so I am very pleased several people said the RNLI’s Respect the Water ‘float’ advice helped them survive a dangerous situation last year. We are hopeful that our safety campaigning and education work will contribute to a reduction in coastal deaths.”