Water (Recreational Activity)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 9th May 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Aileen Campbell Aileen Campbell Scottish National Party

Before I answer, let me extend on behalf of the Scottish Government heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the three men—Sandy Hamilton, Kevin James McKinlay and Stuart McLevy—who lost their lives in the recent tragic accidents off Dumfries and Galloway and on Loch Lomond.

The Scottish Government takes the issue of safety in and around water very seriously indeed. Although there have been a number of high-profile tragedies and near misses in recent days, we know that there are many other people who have enjoyed Scotland’s inshore and offshore waters safely and without incident.

However, we are not complacent. Sportscotland, the national agency for sport, contributes to promoting safe recreational water activity through its national centres at Cumbrae and Glenmore by developing future coaches and offering skills development in a wide range of water sports.

We also support the aims of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents water safety Scotland group, and will provide £104,000 this year to its annual home and water safety programme. In addition, water safety Scotland is developing a Scotland-specific response to the National Water Safety Forum’s “The UK Drowning Prevention Strategy 2016-2026”, which aims to reduce accidental drowning rates in the UK by 50 per cent by 2026. Water safety Scotland is currently consulting on a draft response to that strategy document, and I encourage anyone who has an interest in water safety and recreational water activity to respond to the consultation.