SCOTTISH Water is urging people to stay safe and not take risks around rivers, reservoirs and lochs.

The utility is calling on children to take particular care during the summer holidays.

The latest figures from the National Water Safety Forum show that in 2018, 263 people lost their lives to unintentional drowning in the UK, of which 46 were in Scotland.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s chief operating officer, said: “While everyone should enjoy their school holidays or take pleasure in the country’s beautiful lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it’s absolutely vital that they stay safe at all times.

“Safety is a serious issue as, while the water may look harmless, there are many hidden dangers. We need to ensure children, and parents, are aware of these hazards.

“We are reminding parents to keep their children safe and asking adults to act responsibly around watercourses.”

Dams, steep banks, spillways, deep cold water and underwater pipework can present real hazards at reservoirs. And the majority of Scottish Water’s reservoirs are situated in remote locations, meaning there is a lack of immediate assistance and a mobile phone reception can be poor.