EAST Ayrshire’s emergency services have joined forces to warn people of all ages who could be risking their lives.

Adults who have developed an air of invincibility because they have taken alcohol, teenagers wanting to show off to their mates or people underestimating the temperature or depth of water.

Loch Doon and many other locations, which look placid, can kill as police officers are only too aware.

Sergeant Alison Jarvie, Cumnock Police, said: “Swimming in open water, including disused quarries, is very dangerous. There are so many hazards to take into account including hidden dangers below the surface of the water which can cause injury, not to mention strong under currents which can catch out anyone.

“Open water can be extremely cold which can cause your body to cramp and possibly go into shock. Police Scotland, along with our partners in East Ayrshire Council and Scottish Fire and Rescue, are joining together to highlight these dangers and suggest safer alternatives.

“I urge everyone to heed warning signs which are in place to stop people entering the water. These signs are there for everyone’s safety. East Ayrshire Council provide safe opportunities for people to swim and water safety advice is available online at Scottish Fire and Rescue or HM Coastguard, please read and act upon this advice, it could save your life.”

Council leader Douglas Reid wants people to consider a safer option.

He said: “I am pleased to support the water safety campaign supported by the Chronicle. During the summer months, particularly this year when the weather has been so hot, young people put themselves in danger swimming in open water and in local quarries.

“There is a real risk of drowning due to the water being very cold, there can be hidden currents and it can be difficult to estimate the depth of water. Alcohol also plays its part in helping to create a situation that puts our young people in harm’s way.

“I would urge our young people to avoid swimming in rivers or quarries during the hot weather and instead attend Doon Leisure Centre or attend one of our many active schools’ summer programmes.”

Alan Coughtrie, Scottish Fire and Rescue group manager, revealed that the service has a dedicated water safety page online, which includes a series of tips to stay safe.

“Open water can be very cold just a few feet further below and can cause cramps or Cold Water Shock.

“This can affect stamina and sap strength - while the ability to swim deteriorates rapidly.

“Open water can also look very calm, but strong undercurrents or unseen objects which can trap or injure can lie beneath.

“My crews are regularly called upon to respond against the clock to save the lives of those who get into difficulty. That is why the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to the public to stay safe this summer,” Mr Coughtrie added.