THE hospitalisation of two RockNess revellers has sparked a police probe and a fresh health warning.
A 19-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man were taken to Raigmore Hospital from the site of the outdoor festival in the early hours of this morning.
It is believed they may have consumed substances including so-called "legal highs". They remain in hospital and their condition is not life-threatening.
The latest development follows the death at the site overnight of a 19-year-old man from the Edinburgh area who police believe may have consumed drugs.
Before the festival got underway properly on Friday, the event had been overshadowed by the deaths of two men on the A9. The van they had been travelling in was in collision with a bus from the Edinburgh area taking festival-goers to the site of the three-day event.
The dead men were named as Mark McFarlane (38) and Barry Murray (28), both painter/decorators from the Glasgow area. The female bus driver was airlifted to hospital for treatment to serious injuries. Several passengers also required treatment.
Meanwhile police said the man and woman believed to have taken “legal highs” remain in hospital. Their condition is not life-threatening.
Police and organisers say they have minimised the risk of controlled drugs at the festival through a range of measures, including searches and the use of drugs dogs, as well as “amnesty bins”.
Only a few days ago, police issued a drugs warning by the SCDEA (Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency) about the latest pink ecstasy tablet.
In the first 24 hours of the festival, 65 positive drugs searches had been recorded.
Police and health agencies say people should be aware of the dangers of taking any non-prescribed drugs or other substances such as those known as "legal highs".
Police are currently making enquiries into a "legal high" substance known as Benzo Fury which is believed may have been taken by those who are currently being treated in hospital. This is not a controlled drug. It may, however, be very dangerous, particularly if consumed with other substances.
Event Commander, Superintendent Stevie Mackay said: "Taking drugs or any medicines, which you have not been prescribed, is an extremely risky thing to do. People may think that legal highs are safe, because they are not classed as a controlled drug, but they are extremely dangerous. If anyone has the tablets described or any other drug, whether controlled or a "legal high", in their possession, they are advised not to take them and to hand these in. Amnesty bins are available at the main Nesstival entrance or anyone can hand in substances to Crew 2000 at the Welfare Tent."
Public Health Constultant Dr Cameron Stark said: " Our advice is simple: limit how much alcohol you drink, and don’t take non prescribed drugs. If however you have taken non prescribed drugs including "legal highs”, it is really important that you don’t combine them with alcohol.”
Meanwhile police have issued an appeal over a teenage girl, Zoe MacArthur, who has been posted missing.
The 18-year-old was last seen on Saturday evening at the festival.
Zoe is from the Edinburgh area. She is described as tall and slim with long red hair.
If anyone has seen Zoe or has knowledge of her whereabouts, they should contact police on 01463 715555.