A BEREAVED father whose son drowned in the Clyde is planning to take his campaign to improve water safety to the Scottish Parliament.

Duncan Spiers has received the backing of hundreds of people for action to be taken to make the area along the banks of the river in Glasgow less of a hazard after his son Christopher fell in as he returned home from a night out.

The 52-year-old from Balornock, Glasgow, has collected the signatures of more than 700 people to a petition he launched on in February this year, weeks after the second anniversary of the fatal accident.

He now hopes to appeal to MSPs on Holyrood’s petitions committee in a bid to strengthen his case for improved safety measures on the Clyde and on the country’s other rivers such as the Tay which run through Perth and Dundee.

“We want the petition to be taken to the Scottish Parliament,” he told The National. “It is too late now for our son, but I’m hoping better safety measures on the Clyde and on Scotland’s other rivers that flow through towns and cities, might help save other people.”

Ivan McKee, the SNP MSP for Glasgow Provan, who earlier this year rescued an elderly man from the Forth and Clyde canal, said he would be helping Duncan with his campaign to improve water safety.

Christopher was 28 when he slipped at the banks of the River Clyde and drowned after a night out in the city centre on 29 January 2016.

The shop manager approached the Tradeston Bridge, which had been cordoned off by police officers due to an unsafe building at the Broomielaw. The building had been damaged in an ongoing storm.

According to Duncan, Christopher spoke to the police officers about getting across the pedestrian bridge after he saw two people come from the Southside head towards the city centre and go past the cordon.

He was told that it was not possible and they asked him to move away.

Christopher, however, who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol, continued down to the water’s edge where he slipped under stormy conditions but managed to grab on to the side.

He screamed for help and the police officers rushed to his aid but he fell into the water. And despite rescue attempts, he was quickly dragged out into the depths of the River Clyde as the stormy conditions worsened.

His body was recovered two days later on January 31 by George Parsonage of Glasgow Humane Society.

Due to the circumstances surrounding his death, an investigation was launched by the police watchdog PIRC (Police Investigations and Review Commission). It found that no action should be taken. Duncan wants warning signs erected along town and city river banks, police patrols during peak weekend times, better CCTV coverage of river banks and life-belts introduced which have roped attached so if a throw misses, a potential rescuer can try again.

Inspector Ross Kelly, Baird Street Police Office, said: “Officers from Glasgow’s local policing team deal with a wide range of calls on a daily basis.

“They respond and are deployed to wherever assistance is required, including the River Clyde. We also have several Local Problem Solving Teams in place. These officers deal with ongoing concerns and more complex community issues raised by the public. This involves working closely with our partners to educate the public and keep people safe.”

Around 50 people accidentally drown every year in Scotland, according to the the Royal Life Saving Society, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Earlier this year the organisations backed the launch of a Water Safety Scotland campaign, which called for a Scotland wide Drowning Prevention Strategy to reduce by half the number of people losing their lives in the water by 2026. The campaign has called for better fatality incident data and intelligence across Scotland, more water safety education in schools and promotion of swimming lessons.

There have been previous calls for Scotland to have a dedicated “water safety” minister after reports suggested the chance of drowning is higher north of the border because of the country’s huge coastline.