DEVASTATED taxi drivers have paid tribute to their “fallen colleague” after his tragic drowning during a weekend of tragedies in Scotland’s waters.

Workers turned out at Linn Cemetery Extension in the south of Glasgow to honour Muhammed Asim Riaz with a “driver’s salute” at his funeral – a guard of honour for their colleague and friend.

Riaz lost his life after getting into difficulty at Pulpit Rock, Ardlui, on July 24. His friend Edina Olahova, 29, and her nine-year-old son Rana Haris Ali were also pronounced dead on the scene.

Glasgow Times:

A small group of App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) committee members who knew the 41-year-old personally spoke fondly of his memory, with the grey day matching the solemn mood of the occasion.

Organiser of the “driver’s salute”, and member of the ADCU, Eddie Grice, knew Riaz and had only been working with him the week before the tragic incident.

He said: “He was a nice hard-working guy. “He was respectful to everyone, and to be honest he was quite quiet. He didn’t give anyone any hassle.”

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Those who arrived at the cemetery around 3pm this afternoon, had also attended their local mosque beforehand to say their prayers.

Grice and several other drivers, including some who didn’t know him personally but wanted to pay their respects, waited just outside the cemetery for the funeral car to enter.

Once those who had made the journey from the mosque to the cemetery had all arrived, Grice and the rest of Riaz’s colleagues from the ADC Union followed closely behind.

Glasgow Times:

Grice added: “We’re standing in solidarity with a fallen colleague. When we heard the news, a lot of us knew him personally, so it shook us. Today we stand together.

“I was only just working with him the week before he died.

“We are here to support each other, and to hold each other up.

“In times like this, when the worst happens, we will try to support each other and his family, and we would like to offer his family our thoughts and prayers.”

A fundraiser has also been set up for Riaz’s family, which has surpassed its initial target of £2500. His tragic death was part of a weekend of tragedies where seven people died waters across the country.

Aman Sharma, 34, became the latest fatality after passing away after getting into difficulty at Loch Lubnaig in Stirling last Sunday.

Elsewhere, 16-year-old Connor Markward from Glasgow died on Friday afternoon at Loch Lomond.

Dean Irvine, 11, drowned in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire on the Saturday, and 13-year-old Jamie Gilchrist lost his life in a Lanark river.

Following the devastating weekend, Loch Lomond bosses held a series of urgent talks to see reflect on the multiple tragedies and aimed to discuss how to improve water safety advice both for the Loch’s in the Trossachs and for other bodies of water in Scotland.

Chief executive of the park authority, Gordon Watson, said the meetings were exploring both short- and long-term actions they could take to aid water safety measures, but specific details have yet to be announced.

As well as the ‘urgent’ meetings which included local authorities and safety partners, Director of Environment, and visitor services at the park Simon Jones, also issued a familiar plea to those who are still thinking of visiting and exploring the water.

He said: “Water bodies in the National Park can have hidden dangers, particularly the risk of cold-water shock even in warm weather, and the potential for sudden changes in the depth of the water.

“By taking some time to read the water safety advice on our website and share this information with your families and friends you can help get these important messages to as many people as possible.”