Helix Lagoon: 'Stay out of the water' warning as visitors flock to area
As temperatures continue to rise, concerned visitors to Falkirk’s popular Helix Park are looking for confirmation from Falkirk Community Trust the park’s lagoon is safe for families to be cooling off in.
And they got it from the trust today as it issued a warning for people to stay out of the Helix Lagoon and other local ponds – no matter how hot the weather gets.
A Falkirk Community Trust spokesperson said: “With the recent high temperatures, we know how inviting ponds and open water can look as a place to cool down in the sun.
"However, it is important we urge all visitors to avoid entering any water in our parks.
“Helix Park, Callendar Park, Kinneil and Muiravonside all have areas of water and are beautiful places to visit but all too often many people risk their lives by venturing into the water.
“These areas are not only untested for safe swimming but are unsupervised, and there are many dangers beneath the still surface that could easily cause even the most confident swimmers to experience difficulty.
“If visiting our parks in this unusually hot weather, we ask our visitors to stick to our delicious ice creams and the shade to keep cool and leave the water to the ducks.”
Earlier this week The Falkirk Herald published an online article entitled “In Pictures: Families flock to Helix for a day in the sun”, which stated “there can be no better place to go to soak up the sun than The Helix” and showed photographs taken by The Falkirk Herald’s chief photographer Michael Gillen of youngsters splashing around in the Helix Lagoon, and having fun.
Photographs of people in the pond sparked warnings from some people who stated the pond was not safe for people to go paddling or swimming in.
One reader stated: “It’s the same as Callendar Park water – full of algae. Wouldn’t let the dog swim in it.”
A mother posted a picture of her daughter’s rash covered leg after she had been paddling in the pond.
Another FB post recalled a sporting event which had to be cancelled a few years ago at the Helix because the lagoon was not clean enough.
That event, organised and subsequently cancelled by Scottish Swimming, was scheduled to take place on May 20, 2017 before the plug was pulled.
At the time Scottish Swimming stated: “It is with regret we must inform you the Open Water Swimming events at the Helix Lagoon in Falkirk are cancelled. We have been informed by our partners, Falkirk Community Trust, that due to low water quality levels, the Helix Lagoon will be closed until levels return to a standard that is considered safe.
"Water testing is carried out frequently in the lead up to all our open water events, and due to a number of reasons out with our control, the quality of the water has decreased, and is not deemed safe for swimmers.
“The health and safety of our participants is of the utmost importance to Scottish Swimming, Triathlon Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust, so the decision to cancel the event has been made.”