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Check the weather forecast before heading out on the water, especially on lochs as they can also be affected by bad weather. Watch for sudden changes in the weather as these are not uncommon. Dress according to the weather forecast.
Consider taking safety equipment out on to the water with you, such as distress flares, life jackets and communication devices.
Be very cautious of the tide and try to see when the tide will be heading in or out before you head out for a walk along the shore. The 200 mile coastline in Dumfries and Galloway offers a diversity of beaches, bays and inlets and offers fantastic views as well as providing many different walks. Although be careful, even more so on the eastern shores of the Solway Firth, as these shores are swept by even faster sweeping tides. The water creeps across the flats faster than a man can walk, so be aware of the danger it poses, especially for young children.
Be very careful on cliff edges as grass is dangerous when both wet and dry. Cliff edges can be very slippery when wet and could crumble away if too dry. Try to stick to the paths as much as possible and prevent your dog from chasing sea birds near the cliff edges or from approaching them altogether as cliff edges are extremely dangerous.
Always swim with someone you know, never on your own. Do not swim on an empty stomach or directly after a meal. Never jump off bridges or into unknown waters.
If swimming (ie. safely following the rules above), never use inflatables in the sea, as winds can prove strong and dangerous and it is very easy to get swept out a long distance in a very short length of time. Even in lochs, the danger remains the same and even gentle winds can be very deceptive! Take great care when using inflatables/airbeds etc.
Ice, winter visitors
Keep off all ice!
Always let someone responsible know where you are going and roughly what time you will return.
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