Water needs respect

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Open water can never be treated lightly and the rescue of two paddle boarders this week is a reminder just how dangerous it can be.

The sea, even in the sheltered waters around Arran, has strong undercurrents as any open water swimmer, rower or kayaker will tell you.

Even at the Lamlash Splash in the enclosed Lamlash Bay, swimmers can be pulled far off their intended path.

The waters off Whiting Bay are open and expansive so it is easy to see how a couple of inexperienced paddle boarders could easily have quickly drifted out to sea and got themselves into difficulty.

The boom in paddle boarding has been huge. At one time it was the sport to be tried on in the warm seas on that Mediterranean break. Now more and more people have their own paddle boards, they are even for hire on Arran, and boarders can often be seen in their wetsuits around the shore.

However, it is worrying that this increase in the sport has also led to a rise in the work of the lifeboat crews. RNLI volunteers on Arran say this was far from an isolated incident and have called for everyone to make sure they take to the water safely.

It is a message which must be heard. The school summer holidays are just around the corner and sunnier days are ahead, we hope; just remember the sea can be a dangerous place and must be treated with respect.