Ranger Service Manager Leigh Hamilton tells us about her work engaging businesses around Loch Lomond to participate in water safety training.
Last year our water safety advice reached over 1.5 million people via social media and more than a thousand visitors at our live events across the National Park. For this coming visitor season, in addition to continuing with this wider activity, our Ranger Team has been dedicating time to training the staff of Loch-side businesses so that should they see someone in difficulty in the water, they are equipped with the knowledge to help.
Working together with partners, landowners and with local businesses is crucial as the National Park covers vast waterside areas, only some of which are owned or managed by the Park Authority. Sharing water safety knowledge and skills means that more people are equipped to help in a water emergency, and that can only be a good thing for everyone.
Recently, Cameron House Hotel was one of the first businesses in the Loch Lomond area to offer this opportunity to staff, and we were delighted to see 15 members from various teams come along to our session, delivered in conjunction with RNLI. They got their hands wet and learned how to throw towlines, as well as how to guide a person in the water to stay as calm as possible to aid a successful rescue.
Activities Manager Ben Mitchell, who had some previous experience of water safety training, thought it was very useful. He explained: “The training was great because it was specific to Loch Lomond, which has its own dangers such as steep drops and year-round cold water.”
Marina Manager Paul Hopkinson thinks a joint approach to water safety is essential. He said: “An effective response to water safety requires landowners and businesses to be consistent and follow the same guidelines. Everyone working together could save a life.”
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park follows Water Safety Scotland’s Water Safety Code. If your business is interested in learning valuable water safety skills, you can email Leigh for more information.