A man Identitied as Waris Ali whose wife and nine-year-old son died in Loch Lomond at the weekend has told how he desperately tried to save them, despite being unable to swim.
Waris Ali’s wife, Edina Olahova, 29, their son, Rana Haris Ali, and family friend, 39-year-old Muhammad Asim Riaz all died in the incident at Ardlui on Saturday.
Mr Asim’s seven-year-old son remains in hospital. Mr Waris described how he threw his shirt to his wife to grab hold of.
According to Mr Asim, when he came out from the water, he saw his wife’s hand. So he tried to pull off his shirt and give it to her to catch but she couldn’t.”
None of the group, apart from Mr Asim, could swim. Mr Waris, said they had been on holiday in the Isle of Skye when they decided to go to Loch Lomond.
He said his son and friend were playing on the pier and at the end of the pier, his friend put his foot into the water and fell in.
Mr Waris said the water appeared to be shallow and safe but it was deep.
His son went in after his friend, followed by the rest of the group in a bid to save them. A passer-by also helped and saved his friend’s son.
Paying tribute to his wife, Mr Waris said she 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 signs to be put near the water to warn people it was quite deep there.
There were a total of six deaths in lochs and rivers at the weekend.
An 11-year-old boy died in a river near Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday. And on Sunday the body of a 13-year-old boy was recovered from the River Clyde near Lanark on Sunday.
A 16-year-old boy died near the pier at Balloch Country Park on Friday.
Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is the worst weekend in relation to incidents of this nature that I can remember.”
Emergency services were alerted to the Ardlui incident at about 18:40 on Saturday following “reports of concern” for people in the water.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the deaths as “heart-breaking human tragedies”.
“These tragedies over the weekend are a really brutal reminder that the beauty of some of our waters often belies the dangers that they hold.”