Firefighters team up with RNLI to drive home water safety message to pupils

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By Jamie Milligan

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Firefighters are pleading with youngsters not to risk their lives in and around open water this summer.

Community crews in Renfrewshire have teamed up with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to lay bare the impact of cold water shock to primary six pupils throughout the region.

Watch Manager John Paul, based at the Renfrewshire Community Safety Centre, helps organise the visits.

He said: “The schools have been desperate to get us in and assist with delivering this vital message.

“We hope that this can be a very valuable and, potentially, life-saving lesson.

“Tragedies do hit home and show the devastating events that can occur in the water.

“Very small amounts of water can lead to drowning – that’s something we’ve hammered home.”

Watch Manager Paul believes the warm weather can lead to more people wanting to cool down in nearby bodies of water.

And the community firefighter is determined to show that sites like reservoirs are inherently dangerous.

He explained: “Reservoirs aren’t for playing in. You don’t know what’s underfoot and there can be no point of contact for raising awareness.

“In light of the lovely summer we had last year, there were a number of incidents.

“Hopefully the weather is the same this year, but we’re urging people to remain safe.

“If you want to swim then go to your local swimming pool, or an outdoor pool, where there are lifeguards present.

“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but please swim in appropriate areas in and around this lovely country.”

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