Water Safety

We look after an extraordinary stretch of water. It’s a thriving hub of economic activity.

It also attracts visitors from all over the world who want to experience its beauty and see its wildlife for themselves.

We’re proud to be custodians of such an incredible place. At the same time, we know that, like all coastlines, it can be dangerous.

To protect our staff, customers, clients and contractors we have strict health and safety protocols in place in our port facilities.

In 2022 we received the internationally recognised RoSPA Silver Health and Safety Award for our health and safety performance.

To help raise public awareness of water-related risks, we support the National Water Safety Forum’s #RespectTheWater campaign.

We urge all leisure visitors to our coastline to follow the Water Safety Code. This code was developed by the members of Water Safety Scotland.

It represents the key information needed to help keep people safe around water.

The Water Safety Code

Stop and think, spot the dangers

If you are thinking of being near or entering the water, have you considered the following?

  • Scotland’s waters can be very cold, even in the summer, which can lead to cold water shock
  • Keep off all frozen waters, they may not be able to handle the weight of a person
  • Check for any signage or flags which could warn you of potential dangers
  • Alcohol/drugs and coastal or inland waters don’t mix – they can reduce coordination and impair judgement and reaction times
  • The depth of the water may hide underwater ledges, hidden currents and unseen items
  • Be aware of other water activities that may pose a threat to you
  • If it is safe to enter the water, ensure you have a safe way out
  • If you are at the coast, have you considered rip currents, offshore winds and the tide?

Stay together, stay close

  • It is better to go near the water with a friend or family member
  • Float – if you are in trouble in the water, float until you feel calm… then think what to do next
  • If you fall into water, fight your instinct to swim until cold water shock passes
  • Lean back, extend your arms and legs
  • If you need to, gently move your arms around to help you float
  • Float until you can control your breathing
  • Then call for help or swim to safety

In an emergency, call 999

  • If you see someone in trouble, do not enter the water
  • Look for a throw line or life ring to help whilst you wait on the emergency services
  • Call 999 or 112. If the emergency is in inland waters, ask for the Fire and Rescue Service. If you’re at the coast, ask for the Coastguard

The sad truth is that 57 people accidentally drowned in Scotland last year. We want to do everything we can to reduce that number in future years. The guidelines in the Water Safety Code help everyone to enjoy Scotland’s waters and stay safe at the same time.

Further information on water safety

If you would like more information on staying safe in and around water, we recommend these resources: