Emergency services and rescue groups are pleading with the public to stay safe, behave responsibly and not take risks around reservoirs, rivers and lochs this summer.

With lockdown restrictions being eased and with schools remaining closed until the end of summer, Scottish Water is also calling on people to take particular care around watercourses during the warm weather. 

Figures show that last year, a total of 214 people lost their lives due to unintentional drowning in the UK, of which 37 were in Scotland

READ MORE: Campsie Glen: Youths arrested for theft, drugs and assault

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s chief operating officer, said: “While everyone should enjoy any further good weather we have and take pleasure around the country’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs while following the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 guidelines, it’s absolutely vital that they stay safe at all times and behave responsibly.

“Safety is a serious issue as, while the water may look harmless, there are many hidden dangers. We need to ensure everyone is aware of these hazards.

"We are reminding parents to keep their children safe and asking adults to act responsibly around watercourses.”

Scottish water are asking people not to swim in their reservoirs, as the deep, cold water could present real hazards. 

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Here are three ways Glaswegians can support the Black Lives Matter movement SAFELY this weekend

The advice is also being targeted at pet owners, who often throw their pet's toys or sticks into the waters to fetch.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, said: “The water might look inviting, especially on a hot day, but the reality is very different.

“Open water can be a cold and hostile environment even in summer because of the climate in Scotland.

“Firefighters within our water rescue units around the country are highly trained individuals who can assist persons in difficulty. It takes dedication and hard work to carry out these types of rescues, but even for our teams, the water can be a dangerous place.

“So to prevent tragedies happening the best advice we can give to the public is to stay out of the water.”

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the UK’s drowning prevention charity, is running its National Drowning Prevention Week from June 12-19 and is backing Scottish Water’s call.

The aim of the #BeALifesaver campaign is to help everybody across the UK to take charge of their own destiny to enjoy the water safely.

Free, online water safety lessons can be viewed here.