OUR latest community column is written by Gordon Watson, chief executive of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority.

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IT is difficult to put into words the scale and sense of loss the National Park saw at the end of July, and our thoughts are first and foremost with the families of those who have died.

Supporting people to enjoy the water bodies of the National Park is of the utmost importance to us.

It’s a key part of our role as the National Park Authority and a huge amount of work goes into this – from raising awareness and promoting water safety, to having signage, and where relevant, public rescue equipment (PRE) available on visitor sites we manage.

We are not alone in this. Water safety is a responsibility we share with a range of other public organisations and private land owners who own or manage key visitor destinations around the Park.

In light of the terrible events that happened in Loch Lomond and Loch Lubnaig, a series of urgent meetings has been held with each of the local authorities and water safety partners involved.

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These meetings are aimed at reviewing existing water safety measures and identifying any potential further actions to be taken both in the short and the longer term.

Over the past year a water safety project has been undertaken by the National Park Authority which has seen the installation of a number of new water safety signage and PRE at their key visitor sites and work with local authorities and landowners is underway to identify identify popular water sites they own or manage where safety signage and equipment can and is being improved.

The National Park Authority’s boat ranger team patrol the loch on a daily basis during the summer months.

As well as coming together to look at what we can do as organisations, we’re also asking people to help us share important water safety advice.

Water bodies in the National Park can have hidden dangers, particularly the risk of cold water shock even in warm weather, and the potential for sudden changes in the depth of the water.

By taking some time to read the water safety advice on our website and share this information with your families and friends you can help get these important messages to as many people as possible.

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