Loch Lomond: Two adults and child die in water in Scotland

Five people have died after getting into trouble in the water since Friday

Celine Wadhera
Sunday 25 July 2021 22:26
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<p>Drownings: the three got into difficulty at the Ardlui end of the loch, pictured</p>

Drownings: the three got into difficulty at the Ardlui end of the loch, pictured

Three people have died after getting into difficulty in the water near Pulpit Rock at the Ardlui end of Loch Lomond on Saturday evening.

Edina Olahova, 29, and her son Rana Haris Ali, nine, died alongside their friend Mohammad Asim Raza, 41, on Saturday evening.

A seven-year-old boy was taken to hospital in Glasgow and remains in intensive care.

Police received reports of “concern” for people in the water around 6.40pm on Saturday and attended the scene. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) appliances from Balloch, Killin and Tyndrum also attended, alongside water rescue units from nearby Oban and Sterling.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police were called around 6.40pm on Saturday, 24 July 2021 following the report of concerns for people in the water near Pulpit Rock, Ardlui.

“A multi-agency operation took place and sadly, three people were pronounced dead at the scene.

“Formal identification has still to take place but the family of a 41-year-old man, 29-year-old woman and nine-year-old boy have been made aware.

“A seven-year-old boy was taken by ambulance to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and is currently in intensive care.”

The spokesperson added that the case would now be sent to the procurator fiscal, which investigates all sudden deaths in Scotland.

The SFRS issued a warning about the dangers of cold water shock from swimming in open water in warm weather. Chief of the SFRS, Martin Blunden, said on Twitter: “Please, please make sure your loved ones (adults and kids) know how to behave around inland water.

“Yesterday was a tragic day for families and the first responder family. I am certain that all those affected thought it’s just water – it isn’t, it can also kill #RespectTheWater.”

The three deaths were reported on the first “World Drowning Prevention Day”, declared as part of a UN General Assembly resolution passed in April. The day is intended to be an advocacy event to highlight the need for countries to have comprehensive plans to prevent drowning, which causes an estimated 236,000 deaths a year.

Five people have now died in Scotland in the past 24 hours after getting into trouble in water. Earlier in the day on Saturday, an 11-year-old was discovered in the river at Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park in Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire. On Friday, a 16-year-old-boy drowned after getting into difficulty in the water close to the pier at Balloch Country Park, in Loch Lomond.

On Saturday, Lee Heard, charity director of the Royal Life Saving Society, told the BBC that he was aware of 28 people who had died in the water – inland and on the coast – in the past eight days; these deaths did not include the unfortunate casualties from Loch Lomond, recorded on Saturday evening, bringing the total deaths from drowning up to 31 since 14 July.

He said: “After the last week, I think the message is that anybody who does not have substantial experience of swimming in cold open water to not go in.

“If people do wish to cool off in water, we advise they do so in supervised settings. Local authorities are putting lifeguards around inland lakes, and there are aqua parks.”

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