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Investigation launched after hoax distress call in Moray Firth

Friday August 10th 2018 at 5:56 AM

An investigation has been launched into a hoax distress call to the Coastguard.

Crews in Aberdeen, MacDuff, Buckie, Banff and Portsoy were called out to reports of people in difficulty in the open water in the Moray Firth at around 1:30pm yesterday.

The search and rescue helicopter from Inverness was also called in.

Searches found nothing – and now police have launched an investigation into the matter.

It’s the latest in a series of hoax calls made from the area – with similiar incidents in April and June this year and November 2017.

Local Police Inspector Megan Heathershaw said: “Obviously any distress call made to the coastguard has to be taken seriously, often leading to an intensive search utilising significant resources given the immediate threat there might be to someone’s life.

“When it turns out that a call has been made with sinister intentions, the coastguard’s precious time has been wasted which could have prevented someone who really needed help from getting it. These types of calls are malicious, expensive and beyond belief therefore each one is thoroughly investigated and every effort made to identify the person responsible.

“Enquiries are ongoing into this particular incident and anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 1748 of August 9th 2018.”

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