UK coastguard
An emergency rescue operation was launched by the Maritime Coastguard after reports of several people in difficulty in the water off Aberdeen beach AFP/Getty

A mother and her seven-year-old son have died after five people were pulled from the water off the coast of Aberdeen this afternoon (20 August). Police Scotland said they launched an emergency rescue operation after receiving several calls reporting people in difficulty in the water off Aberdeen beach at around 4.45pm.

The woman and her two sons aged 7 and 13 were said to have been playing in the sea. Five people were rescued and rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Police have confirmed that a 37-year-old woman and a seven-year-old boy died in hospital. A 13-year-old boy, a 25-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man are still undergoing treatment.

Police Inspector Lorna Ferguson, who coordinated the beach front rescue mission, said: "We got called down about 4.45pm after reports of three persons in the water at the beachfront in Aberdeen. It appears that all three were possibly playing in the water. It appears to be a mother and two boys."

Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie added: "This is a very tragic incident which has resulted in a woman and young boy sadly losing their lives - it will undoubtedly bring shock and sadness to the entire city of Aberdeen and further afield.

"As we work with partners to establish the full circumstances of today's events, we urge anyone who witnessed the incident or perhaps have information that could assist, to make contact with Police via 101."

"Given the recent weather conditions we'd urge members of the public to take care, especially when near coastal or beach areas."

None of the victims of the tragic incident have been named and police are understood to be still liaising with next of kin.

It comes after a man died after being swept out to sea amid large waves and high winds in Cornwall.