VIDEO: Warning after pupil plunges into icy canal

A mum has issued an urgent safety warning after her daughter plunged into a canal on one of the coldest days of the year.

Tiegan Speirs (12), a first year pupil at Bishopbriggs Academy, was rushed to Yorkhill Hospital for treatment after having to swim her way through the ice to escape.

Douglas McBride, deputy headteacher, and Tiegan Speirs

Douglas McBride, deputy headteacher, and Tiegan Speirs

Now mum Amanda is warning youngsters not to get too close to the water’s edge of the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Tiegan is normally met off the bus from school by her mum or dad, but last Monday she was so excited after receiving two awards at school that she ran home – and that’s when she slipped near the edge of the canal.

Mum Amanda said: ‘‘There was nobody about to shout to for help. She had to swim about two metres in the canal water until she came to dock and try to pull herself out.

‘‘She was in the water for five to ten minutes and she had to move the ice out of the way to swim. I don’t know how she managed to get herself out.

‘‘I couldn’t believe it when she arrived at the door soaking. We took her to Yorkhill to be checked out as she was so cold. They gave her pain killers and asked us to keep an eye on her. But she didn’t want to stay off school so went back the next day.’’

Amanda, along with Tiegan’s dad David (34) and sister Casey (7) know just what a lucky escape she had.

Amanda added: ‘‘I want to warn other children to stay back from the canal. I cannot believe she is still with us. I am just shocked that after her body hitting that cold water she was able to swim away. We are so lucky that she took swimming lessons.’’

Alasdair Smart, Lowland Canals waterway manager, said: “This was no doubt a frightening experience and we’re extremely relieved that Tiegan is okay. This incident highlights the risk canals, like any body of open water, can pose and the need for members of the public to take extra care when walking near them, especially in winter.

“Frozen waterways, whilst incredibly picturesque, can also be very dangerous. Bridges, banks and lock-sides can be particularly slippery during the winter months and snow can conceal trip hazards such as boat mooring rings close to the water’s edge.

“Children in particular should always be accompanied by an adult when they visit the canals and should be made aware of the potential hazards. We encourage everyone to enjoy the waterways this winter but, no matter what their age, to stay safe and stay away from the edge.”