Kelton Holsen


This Halloween, police received two separate reports of bodies spotted in the River Clyde and the Kelvin.

The incident at the Clyde occurred at the Squinty Bridge at around 1:35 PM. Witnesses reported seeing someone in the water near the bridge. The bridge was subsequently closed down, and emergency services were called to the bridge to search for the person spotted.

The incident at the Kelvin, meanwhile, occurred at around 8:55 PM that night near the Botanic Gardens. Staff at the GlasGLOW festival reported hearing "some noise by the surrounding River Kelvin, and a splash of water." Fearing that someone was in the river, the festival staff called emergency services, who scoured the water for about an hour and a half before calling off the search.

No bodies were found in either incident. In the first incident, if there was someone in the Clyde, their chances of survival would be low: besides the risk of being swept downstream by the current, cold water temperatures pose the risk of hypothermia at this time of year. If there was someone in the Kelvin, they also would likely not have survived unless they were able to get out of the river very quickly, particularly considering the river's current; however, the banks of the river near where the festival took place are shallow enough that it is possible that whoever made the splashing sound was able to get out of the water and leave the area.  

There have been several cases of bodies being found in the Kelvin and Clyde in the past year, for most of which the police are unable to ascertain the cause of death. In February, the Sun reported that three different bodies were pulled from the Clyde within a 24-hour span.

According to The National, about 50 people die by drowning in Scotland per year. Duncan Spiers, the father of one such drowning victim who slipped off a bridge into the Clyde, has begun a petition to the Scottish Government to increase water safety in Scotland, including safety warnings, police patrols, and life-rings attached to ropes "so [that] if a throw misses, a potential rescuer can try again.", according to The National's report.

RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, recommends that anyone who is going to be near or in water follow the Water Safety code: to watch out for dangers such as extreme cold, currents, and steep banks, to observe all posted safety warnings, to avoid going in or near water alone, and to get a lifeguard or call 999 in the event of an emergency.

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