A seven-year-old boy and his 37-year-old mother have died in hospital after a rescue operation at Aberdeen beach in Scotland.

The emergency services were called to reports of people in difficulty in the water at around 4.45pm this afternoon.

A major rescue operation was launched and five people were pulled from the water and taken to hospital.

The 37-year-old woman and seven-year-old boy, understood to be mother and son, later died in hospital.

A man, aged 28, a woman, aged 25, and a 13-year-old boy remain in hospital for treatment.

Chief Inspector Stewart Mackie said: "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.

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

Separately, a British man died after being swept out to sea yesterday while he was at a beach in Cornwall with his family.

The man and his wife, in their 30s, and two-year-old daughter were rescued after getting into trouble as 13ft waves and 10ft breaking waves lashed Fistral Beach (above) on the coast of Cornwall.

Amid the treacherous conditions, two other children in the family managed to scramble back on to the rocks.

Lifeguards went to the scene after being alerted by a 999 call yesterday at 5.20pm, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said

Lifeguards carried out CPR on the man before he was taken by air ambulance to hospital. 

But the man died in hospital last night.

His wife, who has minor injuries, and daughter are also in hospital. The two other children were also taken by ambulance to hospital.

The tragedy happened as gales hit Ireland, Wales and England, bringing a very unsettled and blustery end to the recent sunny spell.