By Bill Heaney
News is coming in that three people have died after getting into difficulty while swimming in Loch Lomond, police have said.
A 41-year-old man, 29-year-old woman and nine-year-old boy died at the scene near Pulpit Rock, at Ardlui in Argyll and Bute on Saturday evening.
A seven-year-old boy was rescued and taken to hospital in Glasgow where he is now in intensive care.
There have been five water deaths in two days in Scotland, with incidents at Loch Lomond and South Lanarkshire.
Police said they were alerted at about 18:40 on Saturday following “reports of concern” for people in the water.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “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 have been made aware.
“A seven-year-old boy was taken by ambulance to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said appliances from Killin, Tyndrum and Balloch were sent to the scene, along with water rescue units from Oban and Stirling.
The incident came a day after a 16-year-old died in Loch Lomond.
The teenager got into difficulty in the water near the pier at Balloch Country Park on Friday, sparking a major search.
Jackie Baillie, pictured left, MSP for Dumbarton, said: ““The deaths that have occurred over the weekend are all tragedies and my condolences go out to the families of those who have lost their lives.
“There is now an urgent need for safety measures to be increased in areas with open water, including at Loch Lomond and along the River Leven.
“It is vitally important that regular lifeguard patrols are in place to ensure that everyone is safe, rescue boats are available to be deployed to ensure that help can be given to those who get into difficulty and life saving equipment is easily available.
“I had written to West Dunbartonshire Council, the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and the Fire & Rescue Service last year when Ava Gray tragically lost her life, it is now imperative that they act to ensure that these measures are put in place to avoid further loss of life.”
People across the UK have been warned to take extra care swimming in open water after dozens drowned during recent hot weather.