Two teenagers were rescued after they had drifted out to sea in the Moray Firth on an inflatable doughnut over the weekend
The coastguard had been alerted of the teenagers after a coastal walker spotted the inflatable doughnut from the seashore.
An RNLI Kessock lifeboat was deployed, and a Stornoway Coastguard helicopter, which had been refuelling at Inverness Airport at the time, flew to the scene of the incident.
The two Scottish teenagers, who were drifting on a receding tide off of the coast of Ardersier, were winched on board the emergency helicopter and flown safely to shore.
HM Coastguard Highland and an ambulance crew took the teenagers into their care after the emergency alarm was raised at around 17:00.
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Douglas Munro, of RNLI Kessock, said:
“The casualties were incredibly lucky to have been spotted by a walker on the beach who witnessed the teenagers drifting out to sea.”
“The walker reacted quickly dialling 999 and the coastguard requested.”
The incident that took place on Sunday came amid a busy weekend for RNLI crews, as well as coastguard crews in Scotland.
Just the day before, on Saturday afternoon, another seven people were rescued from the sea after the boat they were aboard sank just north west of Lochinver in Sutherland.
RNLI Lochinver launched a lifeboat that was sent out but another boat closer to the scene of the incident got all seven people on board their vessel safely. The Scottish lifeboat crew gathered debris from the sinking boat, including fishing boxes and baskets, as well as a lunch box, complete with their uneaten sandwiches.
Also, on the same day in Sutherland, Melness Coastguard Team were sent out to assist the drivers of two cars that had been stuck in the sand after having driven out on to the beach at Kyle of Tongue.
This past weekend also saw RNLI Broughty Ferry lifeboat in Tayside launch six times in just 90 minutes. The crew were called out to assist with a search for a young boy, who was found safe, as well as a kite surfer who was in the country.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about swimmers and watersports enthusiasts putting themselves at risk in fast moving rip tides at Westport Beach in Kintyre.
This comes after Heathrow Airport is proposing a coronavirus testing plan in a bid to reduce the 14-day quarantines and get people travelling by plane as the travel sector suffers under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A coastguard spokesman said: “Campbeltown and Southend Coastguard rescue teams have been tasked to one incident at Westport, along with the RNLI inshore lifeboat, Scottish Ambulance and Police Scotland in the last fortnight.
“We have reacted to social media reports of people putting themselves in danger by increasing our incident prevention patrols and issuing safety advice as appropriate.”