A north-east woman said her “heart stopped” when she saw a group of children climbing across a railway bridge above a fast-flowing river.
The youngsters were spotted by a woman out for a walk near the green bridge across the River Don at Port Elphinstone.
At the time, the river was very high as a result of melting snow and rainfall over the weekend.
But despite the obvious danger, the children – believed to be around 13 to 14 years old – were photographed clambering across the structure, right above the river.
The shaken woman said: “It was at about 3.50pm on Sunday, I was out for a walk for some fresh air and I looked over at the bridge to see how fast the water was flowing under it, and when I looked up I saw these kids climbing on it.
“It was just a heart-stopping moment. I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing this, and started panicking.
“I dialled 999 to tell the police there were these kids scaling the bridge, because I thought if they just slipped once, the water would just take them.
“By the time the police had arrived, the kids had scaled across to the other side and walked away.
“They were just so lucky, because if a train had come along, what would have happened?
“The water was really just flowing so fast, I don’t think even the best swimmer would have been able to manage against the current, it was really smashing hard against the big stone pillars.”
The walker sent the photos to The SNP’s Gillian Martin, Aberdeenshire East MSP.
The politician said: “These photos are shocking, and I am grateful to the constituent who got in touch with me following this incident to highlight their concerns.
“I have written to both Network Rail and to Police Scotland to express my concerns over this issue. The children in these images managed to get to safety this time.
“However, it could have been much worse and so I would urge all parents and carers to please talk to your children about their personal safety.
“I know how difficult the last year has been – particularly for children – who have been unable to see their friends and attend school.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Trespassing on the railway and climbing on railway structures is incredibly dangerous.
“We will always seek to prosecute those who wilfully endanger themselves or others by abusing our infrastructure.
A Police Scotland spokesman added: “Around 4pm on Sunday, February 21, police were called to the Ladeside Road area of Inverurie, following concern for a number of youths seen climbing on a bridge.
“Officers traced the youths and provided suitable advice in the presence of their parents. No further police action was required.”