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PC in loch summer swimming warning

Section:  Lockerbie and Lochmaben

THE arrival of the summer holidays has sparked a Lochmaben loch safety warning from police.

PC David Irons has issued a reminder to would-be swimmers to think twice before cooling off in Castle, Kirk or Mill Loch.

He said: “The lochs in and around Lochmaben are particularly appealing during the summer months, not only for the sailors and anglers but also for some of the local youths.

“The warm weather makes cooling off by jumping and swimming in the lochs seem like a good idea however it can also bring with it dangers, which should be highlighted.”

He added: “I am keen to remind those who are considering swimming in the lochs to be careful and also be aware of the hidden dangers which lie beneath the surface of the various expanses of water.

“There are unforseen dangers such as ropes which attach the jetties at the sailing club as well as debris and rubbish under water which can cause swimmers difficulties.

“Swimmers should consider this before they take the leap into the unknown and never enter the water when alone incase they get into trouble.”

PC Irons has also warned that the vast amount of sailing equipment at Annandale Sailing Club is not for public use.

He said: “I would like to remind locals that these vessels are private property and would discourage anyone from borrowing any equipment without prior permission being granted.”

And echoing his warning, Castle Loch project officer, Darren Flint said: “While the loch looks a safe and tranquil place for a cooling swim on a warm summer’s day, this isn’t recommended.

“The loch has a thick fringe of weed and is very shallow in places with  a thick layer of mud on the bottom, both of which make it very easy to get your feet stuck.”

He added: “After hot weather the loch can also have a bluegreen algae bloom, which, if swallowed, can lead to very a poorly stomach. Instead why not bring along a picnic and take a wander around the footpaths shaded with a thick tree canopy offering plenty of shade?”

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