Mum-of-two Karolina Pisarska, 36, and Luiza Koniuszy, 22, were found face-down in the water by a lifeboat crew who tragically were unable to save them.
The pair were pulled from the water at about 12.45am on Friday morning.
Karolina and Luiza were born in Poland, but had been living in Aberdeen for years.
It is reported that a taxi driver, who had driven the women to the beach, first raised the alarm after seeing the pair struggling in the water.
“It’s distressing for us. The RNLI ethos is to save life at sea.”
He believed the dangerously cold water may have played a part in their deaths.
He added: “When the water’s in, there’s not a ready escape to get out. You’ve got to remember the water’s very cold around our coast.
“First thing that’s going to happen is cold water shock – you’re going to start gasping for air and taking in water, and that’s likely to start the drowning process very, very quickly.”
Police are now scouring the beach for evidence, but do not think the deaths were suspicious at this time.
Police Scotland Chief Inspector Martin McKay said: “At this stage there appears to be no suspicious circumstances.
“From our initial inquiries, which include speaking to a witness who was present at the time, we understand they entered the water for the purpose of swimming but sadly they underestimated the conditions.”
A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said: “Our thought are with the family, friends and those involved at this difficult time”.
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