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Women died after beach swim in tragic accident, police say

Police believe the pair underestimated the conditions in the water at Aberdeen beach.

Police have been combing the beach in Aberdeen following the deaths of two women who were pulled from the water (Jane Barlow/PA)
Police have been combing the beach in Aberdeen following the deaths of two women who were pulled from the water (Jane Barlow/PA)

Two women died after getting into difficulties while swimming in the sea at a city beach.

Police in Aberdeen described the deaths of the pair, aged 22 and 36, as a “tragic accident”.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the women in difficulty at about 12.40am on Friday.

The foreign nationals were rescued from the water by the RNLI and were taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where they died.

Police have launched an investigation but said there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

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A policeman stands by a cordon at Aberdeen Esplanade following the deaths (Jane Barlow/PA)

Chief Inspector Martin Mackay said: “Above all, my thoughts are with all of those who will be affected by this tragic incident.

“While officers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding why these women came to be in the water so late at night, at this stage there appears to be no apparent suspicious circumstances.

“From our initial enquiries, which include speaking to a witness who was at the scene at the time, we understand that they entered the water for the purpose of swimming but sadly underestimated the conditions.”

He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the rescue personnel who attended and assisted at the scene during the night and did their very best to save the women involved.

“Our seas can be extremely unforgiving, conditions can change rapidly and I can’t stress enough the dangers of entering the water at any time of the day or night when you are not suitably prepared.”

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A police search team at work (Jane Barlow/PA)

He said that the two women, who lived in Aberdeen, are still to be formally identified.

Davie Orr, of the RNLI, said the women were not too far from the end of the groynes on the beach when they were rescued.

He said: “Conditions were not too bad at all. We’ve had an easterly breeze the last couple of weeks and that causes a bit of swell coming in towards the shore.

“It was high tide as well, which also causes problems, particularly here because when the water’s in there’s not a ready escape to get out of the water.

“So, it was high tide, a slight easterly breeze, and also being dark as well caused a bit of problem when you’re searching for someone.”

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Part of the beach has been cordoned off (Jane Barlow/PA)

Part of the beach was cordoned off on Friday morning and police stood guard at the scene.

Officers have been combing the beach as part of the investigation.

The coastguard helicopter and Aberdeen and Stonehaven coastguard rescue teams were also involved in the operation.

A spokeswoman for Aberdeen Water Safety Group said: “First and foremost our thoughts are with the families of the two women following this terrible tragedy.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time but we are obviously deeply saddened at the loss of two young lives and would like to extend our deepest sympathies to friends and families and our gratitude to rescue services who did everything they could to prevent the fatalities.”

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