New measures announced following tragic water-related deaths in Scotland

Improved signs and lessons on water safety for pupils have been announced following a number of tragic deaths in Scotland’s lochs, rivers and reservoirs.

Seven people died in water-related incidents in a single week in July last year, including a mother and her nine-year-old son and three other children.

A new action plan will see safety promotions targeted at areas with a higher risk of drowning, improved signage at popular locations including lochs and reservoirs and a risk assessment of beaches.

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Additional funding of £60,000 will be provided for Water Safety Scotland.

Loch Lomond. Picture: John DevlinLoch Lomond. Picture: John Devlin
Loch Lomond. Picture: John Devlin

Elsewhere, lesson plans on water safety for pupils will be rolled out and training will be provided for businesses and the public on how to use rescue equipment.

Community safety minister Ash Regan said anyone using the water “must be fully aware of the risks and take every possible precaution”.

She said: “The Scottish Government takes water safety very seriously and this action plan includes a range of key steps agreed with our partners to further mitigate the risks from Scotland’s coastal and inland waters.

“Scotland’s beaches, rivers, reservoirs and lochs are amongst our finest natural resources, but beautiful as they are they can be a source of lethal danger and we continue to see the tragic consequences of that.

“The actions in the plan are targeted at creating a safer environment in Scotland.

"But whether it’s sailing, swimming, diving or fishing, anyone undertaking recreational activities in and around water must be fully aware of the risks and take every possible precaution.”

Michael Avril, chair of Water Safety Scotland, said he hoped the move would help reduce drownings.

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He said: “We would like to thank the minister for taking a proactive approach to the prevention of drownings in Scotland.

"The release of this action plan – created in partnership with member organisations - compliments Scotland’s drowning prevention strategy.

“Today, we have published the interim review of the strategy and we are hopeful this, combined with the action plan and increased collaboration from partners, will help Scotland meet its key targets to reduce accidental drowning fatalities by 50 per cent by 2026 and contribute to reduction of water-related suicide.”



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