Ayrshire firefighters issue safety advice for Loch Doon visitors this summer

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Firefighters based at Cumnock are teaming up with East Ayrshire Council to highlight safety advice for visitors to Loch Doon.

As footfall is likely to increase at local beauty spots this summer, members of the public are being reminded of dangers surrounding open water, barbecues and camping as part of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s #SaferSummer2020 campaign.

Area Commander Ian McMeekin, SFRS Local Senior Officer for Ayrshire, said: "We know that visitor numbers will start to pick up at Loch Doon, but we want people to have an enjoyable and safe experience there and act responsibly.

“Knowing how to keep yourself safe near water is so important.

“Those who enjoy activities at the loch should be aware of the risks around cold water shock, which can leave people gasping for breath.

“But there is also a danger for those who walk their dogs or enjoy leisure pursuits, such as running or cycling, as they can mistakenly fall into areas of water and also find themselves in difficulty.”

The public can access a variety of online safety leaflets via the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s website: /your-safety.aspx

Councillor Jim McMahon, cabinet member with responsibility for Community Safety added: “East Ayrshire is blessed with many beautiful countryside attractions and we can understand the desire to get back out and enjoy the outdoors, now that some of the lockdown restrictions are easing.

“But we share the same safety concerns as our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and encourage visitors to heed their advice. We want people to enjoy our beauty spots, so please act responsibly, avoid taking any unnecessary risks and keep safe.”

Wild camping in Scotland is not likely to be permitted until Phase 3 of the Covid-19 recovery process. At the moment, we are still in Phase 2.

However AC McMeekin has this advice when restrictions are eventually eased.

He added: “Barbecuing and camping come with their own particular risks.

“Tents are susceptible to fire, which can obviously spread in the outdoors in hot conditions.

“Each summer we remind people not to smoke within tents and use torches instead of candles.

"If you’re using camping gas canisters then please read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and please don’t use inside tents.

“Cooking with a barbecue should never be done whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Share your #SaferSummer2020 with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service @fire_scot on Twitter and @ScottishFireAndRescueService on Facebook