GLASWEGIANS are being urged to be vigilant around water reservoirs this winter as more people enjoy outdoor activities.

Scottish Water issued a plea for people to not take risks around freezing cold reservoirs, locks and rivers.

Last year there were 37 accidental deaths in Scotland due to drowning, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Carlene McAvoy, community safety development manager for RoSPA Scotland, said: "A lot of these deaths will be of people who did not intend to be in the water, for example joggers and dog walkers.

“While we really want everybody to get out and enjoy Scotland’s beautiful waterways throughout the year, we urge them to do so safely."

With emergency services often unable to reach the reservoirs quickly, parents and carers are also being urged to ensure their children are safe.

Scottish Water chief operating officer Peter Farrer 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 because the emergency services often can’t get to the area quickly.

"We encourage parents to educate their children about the potentially-deadly dangers of walking on frozen water, and how to float to live if exposed to cold water shock, as children are among those most at risk.”

Police Chief Superintendent David Duncan also urged for caution on winter walks.

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He said: "With the current restrictions on travel and socialising as a result of coronavirus, more people may be out walking in their local areas than might usually be, as well as exploring new locations.

“The best advice is to avoid open water, be it frozen or not, and don't put yourself, your children or your pets at risk.

"Please, stay safe near water this winter."

Meanwhile, pet owners are being urged to keep their animals on a lead to prevent them from jumping into icy water.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn added: “If your pet has fallen through ice then you should call the fire and rescue service and wait for assistance.

"Never go out onto the ice after an animal as, while the ice may be able to hold the weight of a dog, it’s unlikely to hold the weight of a human."