Water rescue warning

The River Tweed, Hoe Bridge, Gattonside.
The River Tweed, Hoe Bridge, Gattonside.

With the school holidays set to get under way, warnings have been issued to parents after two people were rescued from rivers within three days.

The first took place on June 17 when a man was pulled from the River Tweed near Caddonfoot, while June 19 saw a 31-year-old man rescued from the Gala Water.

The incidents follow another operation for fire crews last month when a woman had to be rescued from the River Tweed at Innerleithen.

It is four years since 13-year-old Martin Moriarty of Kelso died while swimming in The Cobby area, where the River Teviot flows into the River Tweed and is known for its deep pools and strong undercurrents.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “At this time of year we can see an increase in water related incidents and we would remind people to take extra care when they are out and about, particularly when around water.”

And a spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents added: “During the school holidays, and in particular in hot weather, increasing numbers of children put themselves at risk of drowning. On average 40 to 50 children drown per year in the UK.”

In the Galashiels incident last Wednesday, fire crews received a report that a man had fallen from a bridge at Currie Road into the shallow Gala Water.

A water rescue response unit was mobilised from Galashiels and Marionville in Edinburgh, along with crews from Hawick and Selkirk fire stations.

Crews from Galashiels then assisted the paramedics using their scoop stretcher to rescue the casualty from the water. He was taken to Borders General Hospital suffering from suspected spinal injuries.

The spokeswoman added: “It is fortunate that fire crews were quickly on scene to assist the casualty from the water safely.”

Two days earlier, a man was taken to the BGH for a check up after being pulled from the River Tweed after he entered the water below Ashiestiel Bridge.

And the water rescue on May 30 saw a 36-year-old woman pulled from the River Tweed at Tweedbank Farm, Innerleithen.

She was airlifted by helicopter to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The RoSPA advises parents to follow the Water Safety Code, which includes never allowing children to go into the water themselves and being aware of the dangers of rivers, seas and lochs.