People are being asked to think about how to keep safe around water this summer – whether on Aberdeen’s beach, it’s two rivers or other lochs and water sources.

Aberdeen Water Safety Group made the plea as its members from emergency and safety organisations gathered to highlight the issue on a beautiful sunny day at the city’s beach.

AWSG chairman Dan Price-Davies, who is a member of Aberdeen Surf Lifesaving Club, said:

“We’re all hoping for a lovely sunny summer especially with the school holidays fast approaching so we’re asking children and adults to think about being safe around water.

“Going swimming or paddling about in the sea or a river can be great fun but there’s some safety advice we’d like people to think about before they go, and also when they’re out beside water.

“Before people go, we’d ask them to look at weather conditions and tide times, and also to remember to take a mobile phone for emergencies, warm clothes for when you come out of the water, and sun cream as you can burn when it’s cloudy – even in Scotland.

“We’d ask people to look at the RNLI’s Respect The Water campaign at www.respectthewater.com which asks that when you fall into water, to fight your instinct to swim until the cold water shock passes, as cold water shock makes you gasp uncontrollably and breathe in water.

“The Respect The Water campaign asks you to pause, float on your back until you’re able to catch your breath, and it would be great if people had a look at the website which has lots of incredibly practical lifesaving advice.

“When you’re at the beach or rivers, look at your surroundings and take a mental note where you are in case you have to call the emergency services – there’s location codes on signs at the fencing beside the promenade at Aberdeen beach which are helpful for pinpointing an exact location.

“When you get to the beach, look out for submerged objects when you’re swimming such as rocks, and also don’t assume a sandbank will be there all day for you to walk out to and walk back from.

“Also take a note of the nearest lifebelt just in case and, above all, remember to phone 999 in an emergency.

“We want everyone to have a fun time and come and enjoy our beautiful nature resources we have in Aberdeen such as the gorgeous walks full of interesting nature along both the beach and the River Dee and River Don, and also we want everyone at the same time to have a safe summer.”