Published: 10/06/2018 19:00 - Updated: 08/06/2018 12:11

Children warned over canal risks

Written byJamie Hall


Muirtown bridge
The bridge over the Caledonian Canal where the children are reported to have jumped into the water.

WATER authorities have issued a warning after reports of children playing in the canal in Inverness.

Several boys are reported to have jumped into the Caledonian Canal’s Muirtown Basin on Wednesday evening, prompting concerned onlookers to contact the police.

Chloè Fox, who called officers after witnessing at least four children jumping from the Telford Street bridge, took to Facebook to warn parents against letting youngsters play near canals.

She said the children seemed to be around 12 to 13 years old.

She said: "Just had to call the police as an emergency because about four boys all with swim shorts on are jumping off the Muirtown canal bridge into the basin side of the canal which is obviously extremely dangerous.

"Please have a word with your children about how dangerous the canal is. Hopefully the police can get there before something happens. So scary."

Jim Fleming, head of health and safety at Scottish Canals, which is responsible for the Caledonian Canal, said: "While the water of Scotland’s canals can look inviting on a hot day, we are urging the public, and especially young people, to resist the temptation to jump in. The still surface of the waterways can often betray hidden dangers and strong currents beneath the surface.

"Even on a hot day, the water of the canals can be quite cold and immersion in it can be a shock to the system of even the strongest swimmers. We’d encourage everyone to visit Scotland’s canals this summer but, no matter what their age, to stay safe and stay away from the edge."

A police spokeswoman said that officers had gone to the canal after receiving a phone call from a member of the public.

She said: "We received a call at 5.55pm on Wednesday evening to inform us that children were jumping into the canal.

"Officers attended the scene and spoke to a number of children, who said they had not been jumping in.

"The officers issued suitable advice to those present," they added.

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