Mother, son and family friend named as Loch Lomond drowning victims
25th July 2021

Mother, her nine-year-old son and family friend are named as Loch Lomond drowning victims while seven-year-old fights for life as heatwave death toll hits 30

  • The three drowned at Pulpit Rock, Loch Lomond on Saturday evening
  • A seven-year-old boy is currently in intensive care and fighting for his life 
  • Separately, Irish mother-of-two Natasha Core, 29, died as she rescued son
  • Lake in Co Cavan, Ireland where incident occurred described as ‘dangerous’
  • A large-scale search operation recovered her body close to the shoreline 

A mother, her nine-year-old son and a family friend have been named as the three people who drowned in Loch Lomond yesterday, as it emerged that 30 people reportedly drowned in accidents across the UK in just one week.

Edina Olahova, 29, her son Rana Haris Ali, and Ali Mohammah Asim Raza, 41, died on Saturday night after getting into difficulty on Scotland’s biggest loch, while Mr Raza’s seven-year-old son is fighting for his life at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, according to Sky News. 

Waris Ali, Ms Olahova’s husband and Rana’s father, was also on the trip to Pulpit Rock, just south of Ardlui.

Pictures taken just hours before the tragedy show the two families laughing as they posed near the banks of the loch, with Rana seen helping an adult steer a boat as they enjoyed a sunny day out during the heatwave.

The families of Mr Olahova, Rana and Mr Raza were made aware of their deaths and the case will now be sent to the procurator fiscal – which investigates all sudden deaths in Scotland.  

Police Scotland said it was called to reports of concerns for people’s safety in the water at about 6.40pm yesterday, adding: ‘A multi-agency operation took place and sadly three people were pronounced dead at the scene.’

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said the park’s boat team took part in the search operation at the north end of the loch. It comes as a 16-year-old boy also died in Loch Lomond on Friday, in the Balloch Country Park area. 

Mohammad Asim Raza (left) and Waris Ali pictured on their family holiday at Loch Lomond 

Pictures taken just hours before the tragedy show the two families laughing as they posed near the banks of the loch, with Rana seen helping an adult steer a boat as they enjoyed a sunny day out during the heatwave

A mother, her nine-year-old son and a family friend are named as the three who drowned in Loch Lomond

Thirty people have reportedly drowned in accidents across the UK in just one week

Mr Watson added that the park and its partners will reflect on this weekend’s events and discuss ‘what more can be done by us all to prevent further tragedies in our lochs’. 

‘First and foremost I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those who have died. I also want to thank all of those involved in the search and recovery operations,’ he said. ‘This has undoubtedly been one of the worst weekends in the national park’s history.’  

Separately, an 11-year-old boy who died after getting into difficulty in the water while visiting Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park in Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire on Saturday afternoon has also been identified. 

Dean Irvine is believed to have been playing with friends when he fell into the river, the Daily Record reports. A huge search was launched after the alarm was raised at around 4.30pm yesterday, before he was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a post on social media, his devastated aunt Jade Law said: ‘Rest in peace little man. I hope you know much you were loved by us all from the moment you were born you kept us on our toes but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

‘Your granny will take care of you up there. Doesn’t feel real at all no one will ever take your place as my first born nephew, you were one of a kind. Auntie Jade loves you forever wee dean I am so sorry you were taken this way – my heart is broken.

‘Please send all your prayers to my family. I cannot imagine the pain.’  

Dean Irvine is believed to have been playing with friends in Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park in Stonehouse, South Lanarkshire when he fell into the river. A huge search was launched after the alarm was raised at around 4.30pm yesterday, before he was pronounced dead at the scene

Irish mum-of-two Natasha Core, 29, died after getting into difficulty while rescuing her nine-year-old son at Swan Lake, Gowna, on Wednesday

Thirty people drown across UK in a week

Thursday, July 15

Hartlepool:  Matthew Sherrington, 14, goes missing near Steetley Pier.

Saturday, July 17 

Carlisle: Mohammad Abdul Hamid, 16, drowns after entering the River Eden. 

Sunday, July 18 

West Sussex: A 49-year-old man goes missing at Ardingley Reservoir. 

Salford Quay: Ngapee Merenga, 19, disappears under the water while swimming with his friends. 

Devon: The body of a woman in her 60s is pulled from Axmouth Harbour.

Derbyshire: A man’s body was recovered from a disused quarry in Dove Holes, Buxton.

Witney: A teenage girl dies after drowning in Ducklington Lake. 

York: The body of a man in his 50s was recovered from the River Ouse. 

Sheffield: A man is found dead in a lake in Crookes Valley Park.

Monday, July 19 

West Yorkshire: Body of a man was recovered from a lake at Pugneys Country Park in Wakefield.

County Down: Jay Moffett, 13, gets into trouble after entering a lake in Scarva.

Blackpool: A 29-year-old man is announced to have drowned after ‘accidentally getting out of his depth’.

Tuesday, July 20 

Derbyshire: Police divers and firefighters search the river in Swarkstone before a 16-year-old was found dead the next day.

Hertfordshire: A man drowned in a lake in Welwyn Garden City in the evening. 

West Yorkshire: Caden Taylor, 15, was pronounced dead after jumping in a canal and failing to surface from the water. 

Merseyside: Hamza Mansoor was swept away while swimming in the sea.

Cheshire: Officers searching for a missing 16-year-old boy find a body in the River Weaver.

Wednesday, July 21 

Co Fermanagh: A 55-year-old man named locally as Peter Jones drowned at the Lough Melvin area.

Thursday, July 22 

Cornwall: A man in his 30s was pronounced dead after being pulled from Crantock beach near Newquay

North Yorkshire: A 55-year-old father drowned in front of his two children in water near Filey

Cheshire: Promising boxer Frank Varey, 16, was confirmed dead after he went missing while swimming in the River Dee

Grassington: Builder Ben Marklew, 19, failed to surface after going swimming in a Yorkshire Dales beauty spot 

Glossop: Emergency services launched a search operation at Torside Reservoir at around 10pm last night after reports of a man getting into difficultly in the water. A man’s body was sadly found on Friday, July 23

Friday, July 23

Loch Lomond: A 16-year-old boy died in the water at Balloch Country Park

Saturday, July 24

Blackpool: A 19-year-old man was found in the Ribble estuary on Saturday evening and pronounced dead after being taken to hospital

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

Loch Lomond: A 41-year-old man, a 29-year-old woman and a nine-year-old boy were pronounced dead after getting into difficulty in the water near Pulpit Rock, Loch Lomond, south of Ardlui

Cumbria: A man reported to have got into difficulty in the water more than a week ago was found at Crummock Water in the Lake District 

Meanwhile, Irish mother-of-two Natasha Core, 29, died after getting into difficulty while rescuing her nine-year-old son at Swan Lake, Gowna, in Co Cavan on Wednesday.  

Ms Core drowned on Wednesday evening after diving into the lake described by one local resident as ‘dangerous’.

Speaking to The Irish Times, he said:  ‘It’s very sad. No one swims in that particular part of the lake. There are steep shelves there and had they have gone up further to one of the other inlets those shelves may not have been there.’

The boy was not seriously injured and is being comforted by Ms Core’s partner, Joseph Donohoe.

Describing Ms Core – mother to two boys aged four and nine as a ‘hero’ – her brother Jason Mooney told Belfast Live: ‘Lost for words. I can’t get my head around it. 

‘She was an outgoing person, a good mother, she was all for her kids, down to earth – she was just a lovely person.’ 

A large-scale operation launched after 9pm involving the Coast Guard Helicopter, Fire services and Civil Defence, eventually recovered Ms Core’s body, which was discovered around 15 to 20 feet from the shoreline. 

Gardaí said they were treating it as a ‘swimming accident’.

Father Michael Bannon, parish priest in Gowna, Co. Cavan said he was called to the Swan Lake section of Loch Gowna at about 11pm on Wednesday night and administered the last rites to Natasha.

He described her as a loving and committed mother.

Meanwhile in a Facebook post, her boyfriend Joseph Donohoe wrote: ‘R.I.P. to my girlfriend who sadly passed away last night, words can’t describe how much I love and miss you. Already my heart is broke. 

‘Me and the boys love you to bits. I hope you get the best bed in heaven because you deserve it. You were the best mother to the boys anyone could ask for. I love you Tasha until we meet again.’

Irish politician Niamh Smyth paid tribute on social media to Ms Core, alongside 15-year-old Killian Casey, who died on Tuesday after swimming in nearby Lough Sheelin.

She wrote on a Facebook post: ‘Tragically we have lost two precious young people this week, Killian Casey and Natasha Core.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and communities as they try to come to terms with such overwhelming loss and grief.’ 

A GoFundMe page was set up by Ms Core’s cousin Anne-Marie Fox to help cover the costs of the funeral and had so far raised €8,899 (£7,619).

She wrote: ‘Natasha tragically drowned saving her son’s life. Natasha has left two young kids behind and anything you can donate will be really appreciated.

‘We are so devastated and heartbroken over this tragic loss.’ 

The Irish Coast Guard has asked people not to swim alone and to avoid using inflatable toys in the open water, as it records a significant rise in calls outs and a rise in activity on the water.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland yesterday, Gerard O’Flynn, operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard, said the organisation has responded to 1,690 incidents this year to date, compared to 1,340 at the same time last year. 

He said that ‘the excellent weather combined with restrictions on other recreational activities’ has led to more people in the water.

He said the increased popularity of open-water swimming has many people swimming longer distances and he called on people to make sure they are visible in the sea by wearing a cap and a toe-float. 

The latest drowning occurred as multiple drownings were recorded this week across the UK amid soaring temperatures. 

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

Connor Markward, 16, from Glasgow, died after he got into difficulty swimming in Loch Lomond.

A large search operation was launched around the water near the pier at Balloch Country Park at around 7pm before a body was tragically found shortly afterwards.

Leo, Connor’s heartbroken brother, paid tribute to the teenager on social media.

He wrote: ‘Yesterday my whole world came crashing down. My baby bro drowned at Balloch in the most horrible of ways.

‘I’ll love you forever my son, sleep tight. Till we meet again.’

Also on Friday, Tyson Fury led the tributes to 16-year-old Frank Varey, a promising young boxer who was the latest to be killed in the water.

His body was pulled from the River Dee in Cheshire on Thursday, on the same day that three more deaths were confirmed.

A paddleboarder in his 30s died off the coast of Cornwall, a 19-year-old builder was killed in the water in the Yorkshire Dales while a 55-year-old father tragically drowned in front of his teenage children after the family were caught in a rip tide in North Yorkshire.  

Relatives of Connor Markward (pictured) paid tribute to the teenager on social media

The freshwater Swan Lake in Co Cavan, Ireland, where Natasha Core lost her life (file pic)

‘Please think before entering the water’: Lifesaving charity warns public after spate of drownings

A lifesaving charity has warned the public to ‘think before entering the water’.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) advised members of the public who aren’t experienced in being in cold, open water to ‘stay out, unless supervised’. 

It tweeted on Wednesday: ‘A weekend of truly tragic fatal drownings, now rising to an expected 11 lives lost.

‘We are urging the public to please think before entering the water. If you aren’t experienced in being in cold, open water then please stay out, unless supervised.’

It came as the RNLI released new figures showing that 54 children and teenagers were saved by its lifeguards last summer, with 64 per cent being aged 12 or under.

The charity said it responded to 3,981 incidents last month – up from 3,536 in June 2020 – and added that its lifeguards came to the aid of 12,344 under-18s overall between June and September last year.

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