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Water Safety

Scotland has over 30,000 lochs and miles of coastline and staying safe in and around water is essential. Working with Scottish Water, Scottish Swimming, RNLI and RLSS for their Drowning Prevention campaign we want to help your child learn the dos and don'ts of staying safe in and around water this summer!

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South Ayrshire Council is urging people to take note of water safety advice to prevent any more drownings this summer.

Over 700 people died from drowning in the UK last year, with thousands more injuries. And with the Summer just around the corner, we would like to remind everyone the importance of being safe in and around the water to prevent these incidents:

DO's

- Wear a brightly coloured swimming cap and a wetsuit

- Swim only in groups, never alone, and arrange for a safety spotter on shore, and only swim with people who are experienced

- Organise a safety boat if you are going into open water, and swim as close to your boat as possible

- Swim parallel with the shore, where you can quickly get to safety

- Look for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are swimming

DON'Ts

- Jump into the water without acclimatising to the water's temperature first

- Jump into the water from extreme heights

- Leave children unattended near or in water

Swimming in open water or at the beach can be a fun activity but it is critical anyone who wishes to do so follows the correct advice and knows the dangers involved, such as uneven water depths, strong currents and the impact the temperature can have on your ability to swim efficiently.

If you or someone you know does find themselves in difficulty in the water, the RNLI's main advice is to fight your instinct and try to float as the effects of cold water shock will pass within 60-90 seconds. Floating for this short time will let you regain control of your breathing and your survival chances will greatly increase, as opposed to kicking excessively which uses up oxygen.

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer said: "Already at the start of the summer people have lost their lives in a number of tragic circumstances which prove that water safety and knowledge is so, so important, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

"We want people to listen to our alert and take on board the safety messages we are issuing - advice that could mean the difference between life and death."

Colleen Blair, an experienced open water swimmer who recently became the first person to swim from The Minch (Western Isles to the Scottish mainland), reiterated that while open water swimming can be a brilliant activity, safety comes first.

"It's good fun to get out there into the open water but if you're doing it, do it in a structured, safe manner and be as visible as possible," she said. "And if you're new to it then there are several authorities who offer lifeguarded areas at lochs and beaches around Scotland."

Why not try our Water Safety Quiz 

https://learntoswim.scot/test/