Police are urging people to act responsibly at Loch Lomond following a number of potentially fatal accidents on the water.
David Cameron, a park ranger for Loch Lomond and Trossach National Park Authority, said: “Over the weekend, we reported 32 byelaw violations and witnessed a number of incidents including collisions between jet skiers and a collision between a boat and a jet ski. We also attended an emergency call to a capsized yacht and helped tow numerous boats back to safety.
“Please make sure your boat is fully maintained before you even think about coming on to the Loch and make sure you have enough fuel for your trip. When out on the water, please make sure you’re familiar with the byelaws including speed limits. You need to make sure you’re carrying sufficient lifejackets for the number of people onboard.
“And finally, please respect other users on the water. Loch Lomond is a big stretch of water, there is room for everyone if people behave responsibly. We don’t want to spoil your fun this weekend but we do want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time out there.”
Police Scotland will be out with rangers on patrol boats this weekend as part of Operation Ironworks.
Inspector Gerry McMenemy, who is leading Operation Ironworks, said: “Officers will be targeting those committing disorder or criminality in the popular visitor areas as well as accompanying rangers on boat patrols. Please respect the rules, byelaws and speed limits on the loch.
“The forecast is for another hot weekend and I strongly urge people not to be fooled by the water in our lochs. The water temperature can be extremely cold, despite the temperature on land being hot, and within seconds you can get into difficulty due to this.
“There is also the added factor that, even close to the shore, the bottom of the loch disappears rapidly and is extremely deep. Lochs do not have sloping beds like most shores - they drop suddenly and you are out rapidly out of your depth. We want everyone who visits Loch Lomond and the other lochs in the National Park area to be safe and go home safe. Please don’t drink alcohol and then go swimming or take part in other recreational water activities. Alcohol affects your inhibitions and abilities and people can easily make dangerous decisions when under the influence of alcohol and put themselves at extreme risk.
“Remember, it is an offence to drink alcohol in public along the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. This includes the banks and beaches. Officers will be patrolling and anyone found drinking alcohol will be issued with fixed penalty fines or reported to the procurator fiscal.”
For information about the Loch Lomond byelaws including boat safety advice visit www.lochlomond-trossachs.org
The National Park has also produced a handy guide to boat safety which is available to view on their website.