Water Safety Awareness

The recent warm, sunny weather has seen an increase in kids playing in the River Clyde. Reports of children swimming in the water near Blantyre Weir have had nearby residents concerned when they were observed seemingly struggling against the current.

The area around the former Blantyre Mills has seen over 40 drownings in the last 100 years on this notorious stretch of the river, where when looking calm on the surface has known dangerous undercurrents. Today, as summer holidays get off to a great start, we would urge people to take care when playing at such areas and don’t venture too deep.

Around 85% of accidental drownings occur at open water or river sites. Many of these drownings occur due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of open water safety. The basic principles of open water safety, combined with knowledge and understanding of the hazards, can increase the enjoyment of open water and significantly reduce the number of incidents that occur each year.

Risks to consider in rivers or open water include:

  • The shock of cold water can make swimming difficult and increase the difficulty in getting out of the water
  • Lack of safety equipment and increased difficulty for rescue
  • The height of the fall or jump if tombstoning
  • The depth of the water – this changes and is unpredictable
  • Underwater objects and hazards may not be visible
  • Obstacles or other people in the water
  • Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away
  • Uneven banks and river beds
  • Water quality, e.g. toxic algal blooms and industrial/agricultural pollution

Take care. Be responsible. Look out for others. More Information can be found here:
https://www.rlss.org.uk/pages/category/drowning-prevention-week-2021

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