Boy, 13, sixth person to die in Scottish waters in 24 hours

A 13-year-old boy died after his body was pulled from the water in Lanark on Saturday evening.

A 13-year-old boy has become the sixth person to have died in Scottish waters this weekend after getting into difficulty in water in South Lanarkshire.

Emergency services were called to Hazelbank near Lanark on Saturday evening at around 5.55pm following reports of concern for a person in the water. 

Police said a multi-agency operation was launched and a body was recovered from the river.

Formal identification has still to take place but the family of a 13-year-old boy have been made aware.

A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

It brings the number of people who have died in Scotland after getting into difficulty in the water to six in just 24 hours.

A 41-year-old man, 29-year-old woman and nine-year-old boy died on Saturday after getting into difficulty in the water near Pulpit Rock in Argyll and Bute.

A seven-year-old boy is currently in intensive care at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow following the incident. 

An 11-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene after being found in the river at Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park in Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday afternoon.

A 16-year-old boy died in the water at Balloch Country Park, at the south end of Loch Lomond, on Friday.

The First Minister said her “thoughts and condolences” were with the families of those who had died and urged people to stay safe in Scotland’s waters.

On Sunday, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “This is heartbreaking – my thoughts and condolences are with the loved ones of those who have lost their lives in the water over the past couple of days.

“In Scotland, we have some of the most beautiful lochs and rivers in the world – but if swimming in them, please take care.”

Police Scotland have urged the public to be wary of the dangers of lochs and rivers as Scotland continues to experience warm weather.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: “The number of deaths in open water this weekend is hard to comprehend and my thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those affected. 

“The warm weather can make open water swimming and paddling very inviting but it is extremely dangerous, even for the most experienced swimmers or supervised children. The conditions can change very quickly and there are often hidden risks like deeper water and strong currents.

“The message I want to send to everyone is exercise extreme caution. It is better to keep a safe distance from water if possible.

“Tragically, this weekend has highlighted that open water is very, very dangerous. If you see someone in the water and distressed call 999 immediately.

“Remember, you could get into difficulty yourself trying to help so please take care and seek help as soon as possible.”

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