Advice is being issued about the importance of water safety in the north-east as World Drowning Prevention Day approaches.
Aberdeen City Council have posted a series of social media posts that advise the public to become better informed when it comes to water safety.
New advice includes staying together and not going out to swim on your own and to use inflatables in pools rather than at the beach or up rivers.
A warning was issued on Twitter to make people aware of the appearance of a new sandbar at Aberdeen beach which could cut off unknowning beach-goers.
Please be aware of the new sandbar at Aberdeen beach – there’s a danger you could be stranded or get caught in the deep channel of fast flowing water.#AberdeenWaterSafetyGroup pic.twitter.com/Qpmsf1S0rt
— Aberdeen City Council (@AberdeenCC) July 22, 2021
The warnings come as the summer weather brings people out to the sandy beaches of the north-east.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought restrictions that have limited social interaction while keeping people under lockdown.
With the recent easing of restrictions, people are more eager than ever to enjoy the sunshine, beaches and water, making the warnings timely.
In April 2021, the UN declared that drowning was a preventable global health issue and now recognises World Drowning Prevention Day on the July 25.
In 2019, an estimated 236,000 people died from drowning globally and it is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
‘Gives us all a chance to reflect on and remember those who have lost their lives to drowning.’
In 2017 the council joined organisations such as the RNLI, Royal Life Saving Society UK, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Aberdeen Surf Life Saving Club and others to form the Aberdeen Water Safety Group.
The aim is to save lives lost to drowning through education and promotion of water safety.
A thorough inspection of life-saving equipment and signage on Aberdeen’s beaches as well as safety training for lifeguards was carried out to help limit the dangers in a potential drowning situation.
Commenting on World Downing Prevention Day, Jill Hepburn, lifesaving manager for the RNLI in Scotland said: “Our inspiring volunteers and staff work tirelessly to prevent drowning every day and I would like to raise awareness and support for the newly established annual World Drowning Prevention Day that will take place this Sunday.
“Drowning has cost the world over 2.5 million lives in the last decade, that’s 27 lives lost every hour and most of these could and should have been prevented.
“This is a momentous day and gives us all a chance to reflect on and remember those who have lost their lives to drowning.
“It is a chance for us to take positive, practical action to keep individuals, families and communities safe.”
RNLI water safety lead for Scotland, Michael Avril, added: “We want people to enjoy the coast but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.
“Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but they can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment, particularly during early summer when air temperatures start warming up but water temperatures remain dangerously cold, increasing the risk of cold water shock.”