Firefighters urge people to be aware of the risks presented by water

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People across Renfrewshire and Inverclyde are being urged to avoid entering water alone or unprepared this summer.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and its partners respond to water rescue emergencies each year and tragically, despite all efforts, people do lose their lives.

Conditions like cold water shock can have devastating effects on even the strongest swimmers.

Cold water shock can cause blood vessels to close, heart-rate to increase and lead to a heart attack.

SFRS Watch Commander John Paul works to educate children across East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde on the dangers of entering water alone or unprepared.

He said: "We are aware that good weather can result in people wanting to be in and around water.

"Whether that's simply to cool down or go for a swim, people enjoy going into water when the sun is out.

"However, people often don't realise how dangerous water can be.

"There can be a number of hidden dangers and there's no real way of knowing what is down there before you go in.

"Conditions like cold water shock also present a significant threat, even to the strongest swimmers, and can impact you very quickly with tragic results."

Watch Commander Paul continued: "Of course we want people to enjoy themselves this summer.

"And, while many of us are complying with social isolation restrictions, it's important to emphasise to anyone considering entering water to be fully aware of the risks

"We are asking our communities to follow social distancing advice, stay safe and not to go into water alone or unprepared.

"Tragically, we see every year what can go wrong.

"The risks presented mean it's simply not worth taking the chance."

For more on how to remain safe around water visit

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