Tummel drowning….

I have copied and pasted this from a forum I visit…

Call for inquiry into river drowning
By Eric Nicolson

THE DEATH of a father-of-three in a Highland Perthshire river last week could have been avoided and should be investigated at a fatal accident inquiry, a councillor has claimed.

Gordon Robertson (41), from Midlothian, was fishing in the Tummel, yards from holiday chalets at the Tummel Valley Holiday Park, last Monday when he was dragged away by treacherous currents.

Ken Lyall, who represents the Breadalbane ward on Perth and Kinross Council, has learned that the opening of nearby sluice gates could have caused a rapid rise in water levels and understands that there was no warning of this.

Mr Lyall has questions he wants answered by the relevant authorities and has written to the procurator fiscal in Perth to secure an FAI.

The SNP councillor said, “As with all fatal accidents I was sad to hear about the drowning but having spoken to locals, the police and ambulance services, I feel that the accident could have been avoided.

“With that in mind I have written to the procurator fiscal in Perth requesting a fatal accident inquiry.

“I understand that a cause of the accident may have been due to the opening of sluice gates, which causes a very quick and substantial rise in the water levels.

“I also understand that there is no warning of this. If that was the case then there are surely questions that should be answered.

“Who is responsible for this, how often does it happen and what prior warning is there to the public?

“What signage is there at present to warn the public, is it suitable enough to explain what may occur, and what responsibility do the caravan/camping/other holiday accommodation owners have in warning their visitors about the circumstances around the loch and river?”

Mr Lyall added, “I understand in the past there may have been prior warning in the form of a claxon five or so minutes before any discharges into the river. This does not appear to be the case now.

“I hope that the procurator fiscal will initiate an inquiry and that it answers not only my questions but helps to ensure that this sort of accident does not happen again.”

The tragedy unfolded at around 11am when Mr Robertson, who had been fishing with others, had been left to continue fishing alone.

It was then a witness saw a man wearing chest waders disappear beneath the water.

He and onlookers tried to rescue him—one throwing a rope into the water—but the stricken angler was lost to sight.


  1. joe malcolmson · July 28, 2006

    on the subject of the drowning on the river tummel, myself and a friend were fishing at the top of the river just under the sluice when they opened them without warning the speed of the rising water was frightning and nearly caused us to have a simmlar result and we nearly lost all of our gear.
    so i am in favour of them having an enquiry as it seems this has not been an isolated occurance and warnings must be given before someone else loses thier life………..joe

  2. Alistair · July 28, 2006

    Hi Joe,

    Yea, I have got to agree with you, I was wading in the middl eof the Tummel and found it pretty hard going when it was just up to the middle of my thighs.If it had started to getter higher without any warning I would have been in trouble.


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