‘A throw rope is cheap, but a life is pre­cious’

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY NIALL CHRISTIE

UNIQUE safety equip­ment hop­ing to in­crease the num­ber of lives saved in the River Clyde have been in­tro­duced in Glas­gow fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful cam­paign.

Newly-de­signed throw ropes are be­ing added to life belts along the city water­way af­ter be­ing spe­cially tai­lored to re­duce re­movals of vi­tal equip­ment.

Adding ropes to lifebelts makes them eas­ier to use in emergency sit­u­a­tions and in­creases their life sav­ing po­ten­tial, but the throw ropes are reg­u­larly stolen while lifebelts are also rou­tinely van­dalised.

In April this year the coun­cil tri­alled the ad­di­tion of stan­dard throw ropes to 22 city cen­tre life belts, but fol­low­ing a spate of thefts in July only seven re­mained in place.

Since July a fur­ther 30 stan­dard ropes have been at­tached to city cen­tre lifebelts but at the most re­cent count, 23 had been stolen.

How­ever, safety cam­paign­ers hope the new yel­low, or­ange and pur­ple ward off thieves and van­dals, with 70 in­stalled across Glas­gow.

Andy Wad­dell, chair of the multi-agency Glas­gow Wa­ter Safety Group, ex­pressed his dis­be­lief that any­one could com­pro­mise the res­cue of some­one in dis­tress in the wa­ter.

He said: “Sadly this is an is­sue that has his­tor­i­cally dogged Glas­gow and shame should be heaped upon those who un­der­mine the city’s river safety.

“But by cre­at­ing a dis­tinct and recog­nis­able throw rope, is in­tended that any­one who takes one of th­ese ropes is iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves as a thief. We hope the de­sign of the throw rope de­ters the thieves.”

The move fol­lows pres­sure from a cam­paign by Dun­can and Mar­garet Spiers.

The Glas­gow cou­ple have been push­ing for en­hanced river safety mea­sures af­ter their son Christo­pher ac­ci­den­tally drowned in the Clyde in Jan­uary 2016. Pur­ple thread was added to the rope in mem­ory of their son, who was only 28-years-old when he died.

Dun­can said: “The death of Christo­pher is some­thing that we have to live with ev­ery day.

“But we have wanted to turn our loss into some­thing pos­i­tive and we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to make our rivers as safe as pos­si­ble.

“A throw rope is cheap, but a life is pre­cious.

“Tak­ing ropes or lifebelts is cost­ing lives and peo­ple need to think twice.

“Christo­pher was only in the wa­ter for a mat­ter of min­utes and emergency ser­vices were right there. Ev­ery se­cond counts and adding the throw ropes can make all the dif­fer­ence.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.