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What is the risk?

Climate Change is causing temperatures that we are unaccustomed to in Scotland and heatwaves are a phenomenon we are experiencing more often. Heatwaves have the potential to be a critical issue for water safety as the high temperatures can entice people to venture down to the myriad bodies of water in Scotland in the hopes of cooling down. Despite the warmth in the air, Scotland’s water remains cold, and this can lead to cold-water shock. Entering the water without understanding how to enjoy the water safely can lead to fatal incidents.

How to minimise the risk

The key advice from Water Safety Scotland is to only enter water when you can be sure it is safe – follow the water safety code and learn the advice given in our section on cold water shock.

To widen your understanding of how to stay safe and minimise risk during a heatwave, not just in terms of water safety, then follow the advice from Ready Scotland's Hot Weather comms toolkit. 

bathing on a hot day
Bathing On A Hot Day

Make sure its safe and follow the water safety code.


From a meteorological perspective a heatwave in Scotland is defined as 3 days consecutively above 25C. Heatwaves are most likely to occur in Spring and Summer in Scotland.

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