Water danger

THE grieving family of a 15-year-old who died while diving in a loch during the weekend heatwave have paid tribute to their son.

Patrick Phillips died after getting into difficulty at Cochno Lake, near Clydebank, on Sunday evening as temperatures soared across the country.

The schoolboy, from Faifley, Clydebank, had told his family he was going to the cinema but instead headed to to the lake where he got into difficulty at about 4.35pm.

His mum Donna, a nurse at Sherbrook Lodge care home in Pollokshields, was joined by husband Charles Edwards (61) their sons Quancy (29) and Kevin (26), daughter Kemola (24) and two police officers at the scene of his death.

Industry leaders have reiterated safety calls on the terrible attraction water appears to hold for young people.

Rivers, reservoirs and lochs across the country pose potential safety threats for people.

Steve Scott, Scottish Water’s regional communities manager for East Renfrewshire, told The Extra: “While it’s important youngsters enjoy their school holidays and people across Scotland take pleasure in the country’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it’s also vital they stay safe.

“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but we are reminding parents to keep their children safe, and asking adults to act responsibly around watercourses”.

This message is being reiterated by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Peter Cornall, head of leisure safety, said: “In previous years, the number of accidental drownings inland has peaked during hot spells.

“We want people to be out and about enjoying the summery weather and ideally swimming at properly-supervised sites, such as the local swimming pool”.

Reservoirs are man-made features and because of their purpose, they have a number of unique hidden dangers.

These relate mainly to built structures such as dams, spillways and water intakes.

Other hidden dangers found at reservoirs include deep cold water, underwater plant life and steep banks.

Mr Cornall added: “If people choose not to go to a supervised site, then we urge them to think through the risks of swimming in rivers, reservoirs and lochs before taking the plunge and to make sure they know what to do if something goes wrong.

“Among the hazards to consider are, even on a hot day, water might be a lot colder than you were expecting and there may be strong currents and underwater debris that you cannot see from the bank.

“Consider how you are going to get out of the water once you are in it, be honest about your swimming ability and remember alcohol and swimming never mix”.