Warning over water safety issued as trend for outdoor swimming continues

Soaring hot temperatures unusual for Scotland, a prospect of a cool dip in a beautiful setting that chimes in with the trend for outdoor swimming – it sounds like a recipe for an ideal way to while away a few hours in the sun.

Strathclyde Park loch

Yet quite simply, conditions like this are strewn with hidden dangers and can kill.

The Motherwell Times has already reported on several tragic deaths during lockdown at locations like the artificial lake at Strathclyde Park and the Falls of Clyde.

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Now a warning has been issued about picturesque bodies of water like this – which in fact have many unseen dangers as bathers enter unawares.

And this is all down to the potentially deadly presence of strong currents and undertow.

Accident prevention charity ROSPA has worked with police to highlight the dangers of sites of like these– and feels a strong need to hammer the message home during the summer holidays, at a point where temperatures of 25 degrees have been reached in the last week.

To prove the scale of the problem, the charity also revealed that the shock statistic that no fewer fewer than 99 water-related fatalities were recorded in Scotland alone last year.

A ROSPA spokesperson said: “These environments are often very deep, very cold and can be difficult to get out of if there are steep slimy banks.

"In some bodies of open water hidden rubbish such as shopping trolleys and broken glass could prove to be a danger and of course there are no lifeguards. There is also the chance that the water may be polluted and could make you ill.”

Some sobering key facts were also revealed about the varied circumstances behind death by drowning by the charity as some disturbing trends were readily identified.

Men account for 82 per cent of fatalities -and those in the 20 to 29 age group were the most inclined to die accidentally, A total of 79 per cent of accidental fatalities happened at inland waters.It was also revealed that 31% accidental fatality reports noted the presence of drugs or alcohol.The ROSPA spokesperson added: “Each and every one of these deaths is a tragedy and many could've been prevented.”