New emergency signs installed at Aberdeen Beach after death of mum and son

Floral tributes at Aberdeen Beach.
Floral tributes at Aberdeen Beach.

New signs along Aberdeen beach are set to help emergency services pinpoint the location of people in trouble.

A project is being organised by Aberdeen Water Safety Group (AWSG), which is made up of RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), RLSS (Royal Life Saving Society), Aberdeen City Council, Sport Aberdeen, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Coastguard, Police Scotland and Aberdeen Surf Lifesaving Club.

The road-facing side of the signs, some of which have been installed, will feature information about water safety, while the reverse will include a code which can be quoted to emergency services to help them find the location.

Councillor Ciaran McRae, who is involved with AWSG, said: “With the identification markers, people will be able to say ‘I’m at marker such and such’ and the emergency services will be able to descend directly on the marker for a quicker response.

“If someone just says the Beach Ballroom, that takes in a significant area, so this could narrow down the search quite a lot.

“We’re hoping towards the end of next month they’ll all be in place.”

The safety campaign follows the tragic deaths of six-year-old Lucas Walker and his mum, Julie, 37, who died after they fell into rough seas off the Beach Esplanade on August 20 last year.

AWSG has also visited schools across the city to give advice on safety, and carried out river walks along the river Don to raise awareness of water hazards.

It comes as community safety and legal affairs minister Annabelle Ewing was to visit Aberdeen Lifeboat Station today and walk along the beach.

She said: “Please pay attention to signage such as the recently installed warnings at Aberdeen beach and be aware of tidal patterns if heading into open water.”

Kenny MacDermid, national drowning prevention co-ordinator at RLSS, said: “The signs themselves with the safety message are more important in making sure that nobody gets into trouble.

“We want to be proactive rather than reactive.

“It would be very hard to say that would definitely make a difference, but certainly it could help and give them a much better chance of getting to the location quickly.”