How to avoid dangers

The river North Esk in Edzell

The river North Esk in Edzell

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People choosing to cool off in Brechin and Edzell’s rivers have warned that due to the recent storms rivers are now more dangerous than ever.

The UK’s drowning prevention charity, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has issued the alert as the drowning deaths toll rises further.

The charity urges people to listen to safety advice and enjoy the hot weather and water safely but to avoid open water that is not lifeguarded or does not have has rescue provision.

As having a dip in the River North Esk at Edzell is a popular past time for many residents the advice is important locally.

Director of lifesaving at the RLSS UK, Adrian Lole, said: “Rivers are unpredictable and dynamic in nature and people should not be tempted to cool off or tombstone into them at anytime unless doing do with a professional outdoor pursuits company.

“After the recent storms rivers are now even more dangerous with faster flowing water, stronger currents and colder water flowing through – the sunshine may be back out but the water in rivers is even more deadly.”

Each year across the UK there are around 260 deaths due to accidental drowning in inland waters - about 60 percent of the total number of accidental water deaths.

The charity states that dangers can include the height of the fall or jump if tombstoning; the depth of the water, which changes and is unpredictable; submerged objects that may not be visible; obstacles or other people in the water; lack of safety equipment and increased difficulty for rescue; the shock of cold water can make swimming difficult and increase the difficulty in getting out of the water; strong currents can rapidly sweep people away; uneven banks and river beds; water quality such as toxic algal blooms and industrial or agricultural pollution.

For more water safety advice or details on lifesaving courses suitable for children and adults - visit their website at www.rlss.org.uk