THE new national body aiming to dramatically cut tragedies on the water has issued new advice codes to keep people safe this summer.

Water Safety Scotland was formed to cut fatalities by half after learning from past tragedies.

Loch Lomond saw a number of drownings in 2021, and a Drowning and Incident Review (DIR) was created by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and the Royal Society for the Preention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Last year, 45 people lost their lives to accidental drowning across Scotland and most were in rivers, canals and lochs.

So the code particularly highlights three steps to staying safe:

  • Stop and think, spot the dangers
  • Stay together, stay safe
  • In an emergency, call 999

There are five activity-specific codes as well.

The goal is for experienced and casual water users to make "wiser and more informed decisions" with activities such as angling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking/canoeing, sub-aqua diving and open water swimming.

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The water safety codes can be read online and has been translated into the seven most widely-spoken languages in Scotland.

Loch Lomond saw four drownings in just two days in the summer of 2021.

Connor Markward, 16, died on July 23 while playing with friends in the loch near Balloch Country Park.

The following day, Edina Olahova, 29, Rana Haris Ali, nine, and Muhammad Asim Riaz, 39, died after getting into difficulty in the water off Pulpit Rock, near Ardlui.

A spokesperson for WSS said: “It is vitally important for water users to be well-informed before undertaking recreational activities in or on the water.

"Our activity-specific advice codes will be promoted throughout Scotland to try to ensure that the advice is seen by those who would most benefit from learning it. Our hope is that this will reduce the number of incidents that we see each year."