As spring approaches and as the number of outdoor swimmers increases, the Trossachs National Park authority (which takes in 22 lochs and over 50 rivers)
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has issued the following guidelines so that all can enjoy their swimming experience safely.
1 As you are low in the water, it can be difficult for other water users to spot you. As a result you should always wear a brightly coloured swim cap and, if possible, use a swim safety device. These are brightly coloured inflatable bags which you can tow behind you whilst swimming.
2 Try to swim with at least one other person.
3 Where possible, use an escort canoe/kayak which can also display the alpha flag (international sign of diver in the water).
4 Always swim within your own capabilities and be aware of the effects of gradual chilling.
5 Check weather conditions before heading out, a large swell can quickly develop when wind directions change.
6 Blue green algae can be a problem during the warmer months. The relevant local authority should be the first port of call for advice if you spot any algal blooms although national park visitor centres and SEPA can also be contacted.
For more information: contact the Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway in Balloch on 01389 722030. Opening times are 8.30am to 4.30pm.