Man tried in vain to save wife and son from drowning in loch tragedy

Man tried in vain to save wife and son from drowning in loch tragedy
Det har vært 31 accidental deaths in open water, including rivers and coasts, in the past week

A holidaymaker has told how he tried in vain to save his drowning wife in a tragedy that also claimed the lives of his nine-year-old son and a family friend.

Waris Ali said the incident happened near Pulpit Rock at Loch Lomond as they group stopped on their way home from the Isle of Skye.

Edina Olahova, 29, and Rana Haris Ali, nine, and Muhammad Asim Riaz, 41, died after getting into difficulty in the water which was deeper than expected, Mr Ali said.

Mr Riaz’s son, aged seven, was fortunately rescued from the water by a local man, but the others couldn’t be saved.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday, Mr Ali said that the children were on a pier and went into the water thinking that it was shallow, but Mr Ali said, “suddenly the water was deepI think too deep.”

The children went under and he, his wife and Mr Riaz jumped into the water to save them.

Only Mr Riaz could swim.

He told Sky News that he managed to stay afloat and make his way to the shallow end of the water.

Han sa: “When I came out of the water after five, ten minutes…I saw my wife in the water. I took off my shirt, tried to give it to her….but she was too far.”

He called to a local man who was barbecuing in the surrounding area. The man could swim, han sa, and jumped in to help. He was able to save Mr Riaz’s son, who was taken to hospital, but was unable to rescue the other three from the water.

Mr Ali said he called the emergency services but the operator “couldn’t understand” his accent. Onlookers took the phone from him and explained to the emergency services what was happening.

Mr Ali told the BBC that his wife was “very caring and very nice”. He said his son was “very happy” and added that Mr Asim was a very good person and “like my brother”.

He called for more signs to be put near the water to warn people it was quite deep there.

A senior officer for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said on Monday that the past weekend was one of the worst in memory for the fire service, after six people died in Scotland’s waters – half of whom were young boys under the age of 15.

Det har vært 31 accidental deaths in open water, including rivers and coasts, in the past week.

According to the National Water Safety Forum, an estimated 40 people have drowned in the UK since the heatwave began on 14 juli. This is triple the normal rate of water deaths, som er 19 per year on average.

England recorded its hottest temperature of the year, 32.2C, last Tuesday as a heatwave struck the UK.

Northern Ireland broke its record for hottest temperate ever three times during the week, with the mercury hitting 31.4C in Armagh.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the deaths “heartbreaking human tragedies” on Monday.

“Like everyone else across the country my thoughts are with the families of those who are grieving loved ones right now," hun sa.

La hun til: “These tragedies are a reminder that the beauty of some of our waters often belies the dangers they hold.

“Even if you think you’re a good, strong swimmer, if you don’t understand the current or the depths or the impact of sudden cold water on the body, then you can be putting yourself in real danger.

“I think we’ll want to reflect on what more can be done to educate young people about the dangers as well as the beauties of water.”

Simon Jones, the executive lead for water safety at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, la til: “It’s been a terrible week in the park and across other parts of Scotland as well for tragic events.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to friends and family.

“We can’t remember a period like this, many of our staff were closely involved and it’s been very traumatic for people involved.”

Police Scotland deputy chief constable Will Kerr urged people to be aware of the “float for your life” campaign, which urges swimmers who find themselves in difficulty to float as much as possible and call for help.

Han sa: “We’re realistic and practical, we’re not going to stop everybody going into the water in this beautiful weather.

“Please, vær så snill, we want to avoid any more of these terrible tragedies.

“Just be very, very careful when you do so and make sure you know the advice on how to protect yourself and save yourself if you do get into trouble.”

The Environment Agency has a list of designated bathing waters in the UK at which water quality and risks of pollution are assessed, but many of these sites are not supervised.

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