Stirling Council is aiming to develop a water safety policy in collaboration with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in response to recent tragedies over the summer.
A Life Buoy ring with a body of water in the background

This follows the sad events of the weekend of 24 July where six people lost their lives in Scotland’s waters. A seventh drowning victim in a week died on 30 July in hospital after being rescued from Loch Lubnaig on Sunday 25 July.

In response to these events, the National Park has called for collective action to look at what more can be done to promote water safety, including how authorities engage with visitors and provision of equipment.

At a meeting of Stirling Council’s Public Safety Committee (26 Aug) it was recommended that the Council should liaise with the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park to develop standardised messages and safety signs to ensure a consistent message on water safety is delivered.

The Council is already working alongside the National Park to improve safety signage on the banks of the River Teith in Callander.

It was also recommended that the Council should engage with private landowners for areas outwith the National Park to encourage the uptake of standardised water safety messaging. A water safety policy be developed in conjunction with the local water safety working group and presented to a future meeting of the Environment & Housing Committee.

Convenor of the Public Safety Committee, Councillor Scott Farmer said: “The National Park is correct in its assessment that we all can do more to promote safety around water to prevent the tragic events which occurred in July from happening again.

“As the local authority, we have a responsibility to ensure that visitors to the National Park are well informed about the hazards of venturing into water. Standardised messaging and signage throughout the area developed in collaboration with the National Park will make the risks clearer to all.”

Vice Convenor, Councillor Chris Kane said: “Watercourses throughout the Stirling Council area offer excellent opportunities for people to enjoy activities such as angling and wild swimming which we are rightly proud of and wish for people to continue to enjoy doing.

“We do, however, need to ensure that we are doing as much as we can to ensure that the public are suitably informed of the inherent risks of entering the water which can cause issues for even strong swimmers. A joined up approach with the National Park on water safety policy is therefore a sensible course to take.”