Ice warning after man’s death

PEOPLE in Bearsden and Milngavie are being reminded to play it safe this winter near frozen waterways.

Scottish Water is urging people to remain vigilant and not take any unnecessary risks around the area’s many lochs and reservoirs as the temperatures plunge.

A 37-year-old man died on Sunday after falling through ice on the Gadloch in Lenzie while trying to rescue his dog, which also perished.

Scottish Water’s Peter Farrer said: “While it’s important that youngsters enjoy their school holidays and that people take pleasure in the area’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it is also vital that they stay safe.

“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but we are reminding parents to keep their children safe and asking adults to act responsibly around watercourses.

“Don’t wander too near the edge because you could slip and fall in. Dogs also need to be kept on a lead if they are being walked near reservoirs and other bodies of open water.”

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cowie, of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, stressed the need for a common sense approach and for parents and carers to take time to explain the dangers to their children.

He said: “All of the agencies want to see our countryside and our waterways being enjoyed at this time of year, but we need to stress the hidden dangers to everyone so that they can make sensible decisions.

“The best advice is to be aware of the dangers, think about the risks and plan to minimise them, where it’s sensible to do so.”

During the festive break people will have more time on their hands and are more likely to seek exercise, both for themselves and their family pet.

One of the biggest concerns with dog owners is when their pet experiences difficulties after diving in, chasing a ball or stick. The pet more often survives such incidents, but the owners, who have attempted to save them, might not. 

Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We strongly advise all dog owners to keep their dogs on leads when walking near frozen water this winter.

“If your dog does run out onto ice, never go out after it as the ice may be able to hold the weight of the dog but is unlikely to hold the weight of a human.

“Last year there were a number of cases where dogs fell through ice, which could have ended in tragedy for both animal and owner.

“If your pet does fall through ice, we would advise owners to remain on the land and call the emergency services or the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

For more information, contact Scottish Water on 0845 601 8855 or go to www.scottishwater.co.uk/takecare.