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Holiday tragedy as boy dies in hospital after falling into river

A FAMILY holiday turned to ­tragedy when a ten-year-old boy died after falling into a freezing cold river.

LIFESAVING BID: Despite the best efforts of his family and a passing doctor, Arran Cooper died yesterday.
LIFESAVING BID: Despite the best efforts of his family and a passing doctor, Arran Cooper died yesterday.

The boy was yesterday named by police as Arran Cooper, of Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, who had arrived at Glen Orchy in Argyll with his family on Tuesday for a summer camping holiday.

Arran's father swam out to rescue the boy, the second eldest of four children, while his mother raised the alarm after reportedly seeing him face down in the waters of the River Orchy.

As Mr Cooper pulled Arran on to the river bank, the boy's mother - who was on the other side of the river where the family were setting up a camp site - flagged down a passing car with a doctor on board.

However, despite attempts by the medic, who swam across the river to reach the boy and carry out resuscitation attempts, the youngster lost his fight for life in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "At about 1.45pm on Tuesday a ten-year-old boy fell into the River Orchy, near to Allt Broighleachan, Caledonian Forest reserve, Glen Orchy.

"He was rescued from the water and flown to Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow, for treatment. He died in the early hours of Wednesday July 23.

"A report will be submitted to the procurator-fiscal."

Iain MacKinnon, station officer for Oban's Volunteer Coastguard team, which was called to Glen Orchy to assist police, said: "It was a family, they had arrived to do some camping.

"They were setting up camp and the ten-year-old went exploring.

The River Orchy has claimed numerous lives over the years.

Mr MacKinnon said: "It's a wild and beautiful river."

He added: "That river can be wild when there has been heavy rain, but it was quite calm on Tuesday."

"The boy was found in a large pool area.

"At this time of year the river is quite slow flowing but the pool was a dark colour, so it could have been a deep pool."

Warning people to take care near water in warm weather, Mr MacKinnon said: "Although the weather is hot, even in the br­ightest sunshine the water is still very, very cold and it can grip you and take your breath away.

"If you jump into a river or loch, on a day like this, you will be surprised how cold it is, you can get cramp and get into difficulties."

He added:"We have been to a number of fatalities at the River Orchy and a number of incidents which people have recovered from."

Meanwhile, a 13-year-old boy has been rescued after sinking in quicksand.

Stornoway Coastguard got a call yesterday afternoon to say the boy was up to his face in sand at Scarista Beach, on the isle of Harris.

Tarbert and Stornoway C­oastguard rescue reams and local police, along with fire and rescue officers, were tasked to extract the boy as the sand was compressing his chest.

The boy was taken by C­oastguard helicopter to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, where he was recovering last night.

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