A harbour tour operator has spoken of his shock after discovering a supermarket freezer floating in the North Sea.
Ricky Greenhowe, of Aberdeen Harbour Tours, initially thought a small boat had capsized when he saw the object skimming the waves in the distance.
He dashed out to the area in his boat to check if anyone needed help – but then found out it was a Farmfoods freezer.
Ricky said he got in touch with the Coastguard service, fearing it could pose a danger to wildlife and marine traffic.
Floating 2 miles off Aberdeen this morning . 🙄🙄
He spotted the object – which was double the size of a household fridge-freezer – floating in the water about two miles off the coast of Aberdeen yesterday morning.
He said: “From a distance it was taken to be a small boat, capsized – that’s what we thought it was for a start.
“You see some strange things in the sea but that’s one of the strangest things I’ve seen for a while.”
The family business has been taking wildlife enthusiasts out on tours of the harbour area for the past 25 years.
Ricky said: “It’ll have to be monitored by the Coastguard – there could be another false alarm.
“It may have come off one of the ships or someone’s dumped it off the cliffs, I don’t know.
“Whoever has discarded it into the sea obviously should think twice before they do things like that.”
The Aberdeen Coastguard confirmed the sighting was reported but it is not yet clear whether it will be taken onshore.
Catherine Gee, operations director of Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “Sadly this kind of incident is much more common than you would imagine.
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
“We know that 80% of marine litter originates on land and this is a particularly extreme example of the kind of waste that finds its way into our seas.
“Whether it is plastic bottles, crisp bags, or indeed freezer units, we need to be much more responsible with our litter and waste, by living more sustainably and by disposing of surplus packaging and equipment in a way which does not damage the environment on land or at sea.”
The Scottish Government described flytipping as “illegal, dangerous and unnecessary” and stressed that it could cause harm to the environment and wildlife.
And a spokeswoman for Sepa said: “Appliances like fridges contain materials and chemicals which need careful handling.
“It is important that these types of appliances are taken to a suitability licensed disposal facility.
“Sepa will work with partner agencies to discuss how this item will be retrieved from the sea and ensure it is disposed of safely and appropriately.”
A Farmfoods spokeswoman said the firm was unable to comment.