Warning over danger posed by Moray’s rivers

Roaring water can be an attraction - and danger (pic: Tony Sanderson)
Roaring water can be an attraction – and danger (pic: Tony Sanderson)

A CALL FOR people in Moray to take proper care when around watercourses this winter has been issued by Scottish Water.

Winter walks around freezing cold rivers, reservoirs and lochs can often lead to tragic accidents, in particular where unattended children are concerned.

Scottish Water say that they have no wish to spoil anyone’s fun, but are reminding parents to keep their children safe – and asking adults to act in a responsible manner around watercourses. Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Natural hazards can lurk beneath the surface, where children and adults can get entangled in vegetation or stuck in mud.

“As the majority of reservoirs are remote, there is a lack of immediate assistance. Safety education is a priority – please play safe this winter.”

People should never get too close to the edge – in particular at river banks which can often pose particular dangers at this time of year. People are also being reminded of the hidden dangers in reservoirs throughout the country – and urging them to take particular care when visiting them.

Christie Burnett is the community safety project officer for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. He said: “We encourage everyone, particularly children, to get out and about and enjoy the wintry weather.

“But we also urge caution around frozen water. In 2014, there were unfortunately 40 accidental deaths in Scotland due to drowning or submersion.

“We know that it can be tempting to play or walk on frozen water, but there is simply no way of knowing whether it is going to hold your weight. If you are out walking, please take care around the edges of lochs, reservoirs and rivers.

“We encourage parents to educate their children about the potentially-deadly dangers of walking on frozen water, as children are among those most at risk.”

Further safety advice can be found on the RoSPA website.