A WATER safety policy is being drawn up by Stirling Council in response to tragedies over the summer.

The local authority will be working in collaboration with Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park to develop standardised messages and safety signs – following a meeting of the Public Safety Committee last week.

It follows the sad events of the weekend of July 24 when six people lost their lives in Scotland's waters.

A seventh person died on July 30 in hospital after being rescued from Loch Lubnaig five days earlier.

The national park called for collective action in response, to look at what more can be done to promote water safety, including how authorities engage with visitors and provision of equipment.

Councillor Scott Farmer, convener of the Public Safety Committee, said: “The national park is correct in its assessment that we all can do more to promote safety around water to prevent the tragic events which occurred in July from happening again.

“As the local authority, we have a responsibility to ensure that visitors to the national park are well informed about the hazards of venturing into water.

“Standardised messaging and signage throughout the area developed in collaboration with the national park will make the risks clearer to all.”

The council said it is already working with partners to improve safety signage on the banks of the River Teith in Callander.

It will also seek to engage with private landowners for areas outwith the park to encourage the uptake of standardised water safety messaging.

A water safety policy will be presented to a future meeting of the Environment and Housing Committee.

Cllr Chris Kane, vice convener, added: “Watercourses throughout the Stirling Council area offer excellent opportunities for people to enjoy activities such as angling and wild swimming which we are rightly proud of and wish for people to continue to enjoy doing.

“We do, however, need to ensure that we are doing as much as we can to ensure that the public are suitably informed of the inherent risks of entering the water which can cause issues for even strong swimmers.

“A joined up approach with the national park on water safety policy is therefore a sensible course to take.”