A mother-of-two and her friend died after going for a midnight swim in bitterly cold water near a beach in Aberdeen yesterday.

Mother Karolina Pisarska, 36, and Luiza Koniuszy, 22, were found face-down in the freezing North Sea after the taxi driver who drove them to the beach raised the alarm.

The women had left him behind to wait for them while they swam.

Police Scotland described the deaths as 'tragic accidents' after the women got into difficulties while swimming in the sea in the early hours of Good Friday.

The foreign nationals were taken from the water by the RNLI and rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where they died.

Detectives have launched an investigation but said there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

Part of the beach was cordoned off with police tape and officers stood guard at the scene.

Chief Inspector Martin Mackay said: 'Above all, my thoughts are with all of those who will be affected by this tragic incident.

'While officers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding why these women came to be in the water so late at night, at this stage there appears to be no apparent suspicious circumstances.

'From our initial enquiries, which include speaking to a witness who was at the scene at the time, we understand that they entered the water for the purpose of swimming but sadly underestimated the conditions.'

He added: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the rescue personnel who attended and assisted at the scene during the night and did their very best to save the women involved.

'Our seas can be extremely unforgiving, conditions can change rapidly and I can't stress enough the dangers of entering the water at any time of the day or night when you are not suitably prepared.'