A MUM left devastated when her young son died after going swimming in a Renfrewshire river has told how a spate of drownings at the weekend brought her fresh heartache.

Sharron Drennan wants more done to improve water safety in a bid to avoid tragedies such as the death of her 13-year-old boy William McNally, who got into difficulties in the River Gryfe last month while playing with friends.

The grief-stricken Linwood woman said she was horrified to learn another six people – including four young boys – had drowned in a string of tragedies in the west of Scotland at the weekend.

Sharon told The Gazette: “This is a problem we have every year but there have been too many deaths this year.

“It brought everything back when I heard what had happened at the weekend.”

Linwood High pupil William was swimming at a section of the Gryfe known as the Clay Pitts, near Auchans Farm, Houston, on June 2 when he went under the water.

He suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children in a critical condition but died three days later.

Water safety is now back in the spotlight after a number of tragedies at the weekend.

The fatalities included a 16-year-old boy from Glasgow who went swimming in Loch Lomond on Friday.

The next day, an 11-year-old boy died in a river near Stonehouse, Lanarkshire.

Also on Saturday, a 29-year-old woman, her nine-year-old son and a 39-year-old family friend drowned in Loch Lomond.

And on Sunday, the body of a 13-year-old boy was recovered from the River Clyde, near Lanark.

Sharron said: “Much more needs to be done to improve water safety. There needs to be more warning signs and we need more lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators.

“I’d also like to see SOS phones with GPS tracking devices where people can call for help. I am fighting for that just now for the River Gryfe.

“Your body goes into shock when you hit the water because you go from hot to cold. You can suffer a cardiac arrest. That’s what happened to William.”

Earlier this month, pole-mounted safety buoys donated by the Glasgow Humane Society and rescue ropes were installed at the spot on the Gryfe where William had his accident.

The lifebelts are linked straight to the emergency services so they can locate people in difficulty.

Sharron has welcomed the safety measures.

She said: “If lifebelts are put up and it saves one life, I will be quite happy.”