THE father of a man who died after accidentally falling into the River Clyde has praised the installation of ropes on lifebelts along the water.

Duncan Spiers, who campaigned for ropes to be added to the rings alongside his wife Margaret following 28-year-old Christopher’s death in 2016, said it was a “brilliant” step forward in safety at the river, which has taken countless lives.

But, after Glasgow City Council stopped including ropes with the lifebelts due to vandals who removed the life-saving devices, he warned the careless thugs to “leave them alone”.

He told the Evening Times: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant. This is something we want to see rolled out across Scotland.

“We’re hoping it could really be useful, it could’ve helped Christopher. The police through the lifebelts in but they missed him and they couldn’t pull them back to try again.

“I would ask people please, don’t remove the ropes. It could be your family who needs it and if they’re not there, someone could die. You’re risking lives.”

George Parsonage, of the Glasgow Humane Society, who was tasked with adding the ropes to the lifebelts, echoed Mr Spiers’ thoughts.

He said: “These ropes are vital. It’s incredibly dangerous to have someone in the water waiting for a boat – hypothermia can hit within minutes.

“You haven’t got very long and there’s currents to think about or if people have been drinking – there’s a lot to consider.

“By taking a rope, you’re risking people’s lives.

Following the campaign by the Spiers family, hundreds of ropes have been added to lifebelts up and down the river.

But, Mr Parsonage warned the last time ropes were included with the devices, each one was stolen within 24 hours.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “It is beyond belief, but there has been a real issue with people stealing the throw ropes attached to lifebelts along the Clyde. Using ropes with lifebelts make those lifebelts far more effective and easier to use.

“The campaign by the Spiers family is all about improving safety along the river and we have been very pleased to support their efforts.

“We back 100 per cent the Spiers’ call for people to leave these life-saving ropes alone.

“Stealing a throw rope attached to a lifebelt is an extremely selfish and dangerous thing to do that may actually end up costing someone their life.”