A seven-year-old girl has died after getting into difficulty in the water at a Perthshire beauty spot.
The young victim and a 26-year-old woman were plucked from the water and taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where the child was pronounced dead a short time later.
The woman was treated for non-life threatening injuries and has since been discharged.
Locals reacted with shock as news of the tragedy on Monday evening emerged yesterday.
Tributes poured in for the girl and her family as local councillor Grant Laing said the incident would touch the hearts of everyone in the area.
Mr Laing said: “It’s an absolute tragedy.
“This young girl’s family will be devastated and her friends will be distraught.
“The whole area of Dunkeld and Birnam will be in mourning, people will take this very badly.
“All my thoughts are with the family but that is of little comfort.
“Living in Dunkeld we are used to tragedy on the A9 but this really hits home.”
The Strathtay councillor highlighted the need for caution when people were visiting the National Trust for Scotland-protected site due to the fast flowing river and slippery and uneven surfaces.
He said: “We’ve got a lot of beautiful areas around here but there are hidden dangers when you’ve got the waterways and everyone needs to be careful.”
Depute First Minister John Swinney also paid tribute to the young girl following the accident.
The Perthshire MSP said: “This is desperately sad news, and my thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.
“I hope that the outpouring of sympathy from all those across Perthshire can offer some form of solace during this unimaginably difficult time.”
Police Scotland are appealing for witnesses to the incident but said they were not treating the girl’s death as suspicious.
A spokesperson for the force said: “We were called around 6.50pm on Monday, July 6, to a report of two people in the water at Ossian’s Cave, the Hermitage, Dunkeld.
“A seven-year-old girl and a 26-year old woman were taken by the Scottish Ambulance Service to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
“Sadly the child was pronounced dead a short time later. The woman was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released.
“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what happened but the death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
“Officers are appealing for witnesses and anyone who has any information and not already spoken to officers is asked to call Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 3124 of Monday, 6 July, 2020.”
A safety organisation has warned of the risks involving water following the tragic death of a seven-year-old girl in Dunkeld on Monday.
The child died after getting into difficulty in the river at the Hermitage beauty spot with locals describing water levels as extremely high and fast-flowing on the day.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Scotland (RoSPA) has highlighted a number of hazards that families can face while visiting tourist spots.
Carlene McAvoy, community safety development manager, told The Courier: “Our thoughts are with the little girl’s family after this tragic incident.
“We don’t know the full details of what happened so it would be inappropriate to comment on the incident itself.
“In general when visiting sites where there is water, we encourage families to be aware of the risks, both of falling into the water or of getting into difficulty when in the water.
“Hazards to be aware of include water temperature, which can be very cold even in the summer and can lead to cold water shock; the depth of the water, which could hide underwater ledges, hidden currents and other unseen items; and natural features such as steep banks, which can make it difficult to get out of the water.
“If someone is in difficulty in the water, call 999 and ask for the fire service for inland waters or the coastguard for coastal waters, and look for something that you could throw out to the person to help them float while emergency services are on their way.”
The tragedy comes less than a year after a 12-year-old boy died after getting into difficulty on the River Tay in Stanley in the same Strathtay ward as Dunkeld.
The young victim from Glasgow was rescued from the river on Sunday July 28 last year while playing water sports but sadly died in hospital two days later.