RNLI campaign aims to reduce drownings

The RNLI's Michael Avril at Cramond
The RNLI's Michael Avril at Cramond

Coastal fatality figures 
released by the RNLI show 24 people lost their lives around Scotland’s coast last year.

The number of near-misses was even higher, with the RNLI’s lifeboat crews in Scotland saving 51 lives in 2014.

The figures were revealed as the charity launched its 2015 national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, warning people our coastlines and waters can be dangerously unpredictable.

The five-year figures show an average of 35 people die around Scotland’s coast each year. Of the 174 people who died over the past five years, over half (90) were taking part in activities like walking, running and climbing therefore, were unlikely to have intended to be in the water.

Slips and falls while walking and running contributed to the most coastal deaths in Scotland, accounting for 24 per cent or 41 people.

RNLI spokesman Michael Avril said: ‘‘Most people heading for a stroll or run along the coastline probably wouldn’t consider a drowning prevention campaign like this being relevant to them as they have no plans at all to enter the water.

‘‘We’re warning people that if they’re going near the water, whatever their activity, they could be at risk and they need to take care.

“Unexpected dangers like slippery rocks, sudden waves or unstable ground can catch anyone out.’

The Queensferry lifeboat was Scotland’s busiest inshore lifeboat in 2014. This year itg has been launched 36 times and assisted 93 people, many from Cramond Island.