Nine people died in Scottish waters between May and mid-August, with the deadliest summer in at least five years recorded by the coastguard.
Data obtained by The Courier from HM Coastguard showed the number of water rescues throughout the summer.
Crews were called out to a total of 2,774 incidents across Scotland, of which 462 took place in waters around Tayside and Fife.
The area was second only to Argyll, Bute and Ayrshire, where 835 water incidents were recorded by the coastguard.
In total 531 rescues were conducted in Scotland, with crews helping 103 people in Tayside and Fife.
The coastguard defines a rescue as crews responding to people who would otherwise be at risk of death or serious injury.
Over the summer alone, 56 deaths on the water have been reported in Scotland, the highest figure for at least five years.
This compares with 30 deaths in the summer of 2020 and 42 the previous year. The previous high was 55 in 2017.
The data includes incidents away from the coast where HM Coastguard was able to provide assistance, such as supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland with rescue efforts inland.
Ross Greenhill, coastal operations area commander based in Aberdeen, said coastguard teams had been working hard to keep people safe.
“HM Coastguard deals with a large number and wide-range of incidents across Scotland, from coordinating search and rescue responses in coastal areas at the beach and in the sea to supporting emergency service partners inland and away from coastal locations.”
He added: “We will always be there to respond when someone calls 999 and asks for the coastguard, with our sole purpose to ensure we do all we can to keep people safe.
It follows a number of high-profile drownings across Scotland, including the death of three people at Loch Lomond.
Nine-year-old Rana Haris Ali, mum Edina Olahova, 29, and family friend Muhammad Asim Riaz, 39, all died after the group got into trouble in the water.
During one weekend alone six people died in four separate incidents, whilst others were injured or required hospital treatment.
Mr Greenhill said increased footfall to the coast after more people chose to holiday in the UK had led to a busier than usual summer for the coastguard and partners such as the RNLI.
Winter water warning
He said they had been helping people in need in “challenging and often very difficult circumstances”.
He urged people to follow safety advice as winter approaches.
“With winter on its way, we are continuing to urge the public to follow our safety advice by checking weather conditions, tide timings and respecting the unpredictability of the water at all times,” he said.