Scots are being urged to follow safety advice around lochs and water over the Jubilee bank holiday after dozens of water-related deaths last year. 

A total of 58 people accidental water-related fatalities were recorded in Scotland in 2021, according to the Water Incident Database. 

With a warm long weekend ahead, National Park Rangers issued a stark warning that cold water shock "can be life-threatening". 

The ranger service manager at the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority urged people to be aware of loch-related dangers. 

Leigh Hamilton said: "On hot, sunny weekends we are particularly concerned about people who come to spend time near or around the water, maybe having a picnic or hanging out with friends on the loch shores, but not necessarily intending to go in the water.

“We know from experience that those people who aren’t coming to take part in a specific water activity like swimming or kayaking, are less likely to be aware of the quite specific risks that apply to our lochs. 

“Going into a loch is very different to going into the sea, where the water gradually gets deeper. Lochs often get deep suddenly with steep drops close to the shore. 

"Lochs are also very, very cold, even on a warm June weekend and cold water shock can be life-threatening."

The Herald:

The ranger added: “We know loch shore locations will be busy this weekend so we are asking people to help us spread these important water safety messages as far and wide as possible. 

“Tell your friends about the steep drops close to shore and the risk of cold water shock even for experienced swimmers. If you have teenagers heading out to the Park with friends make sure they know these risks and that if someone in their group gets into difficulty, they should call 999 and ask for the Police.”

Park rangers will be carrying out daily patrols on the ground and on the water during the warm bank holiday. 

To minimise risk, RNLI advice states that anyone who finds themselves unexpectedly in cold water should first take a minute. The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don’t try to swim straight away.

They then say people should relax and float on their backs in order to catch breath and try to get a hold of something which can help them float. 

People experiencing cold water shock should keep calm and then call for help, or swim for safety if they are able to.