An investigation has been launched after a distress call to the Coastguard was found to be a hoax.
Aberdeen Coastguard received the distress call at 1.30pm which raised concerns that people were in difficulty in open water.
Rescue teams from MacDuff, Buckie, Banff and Portsoy were all involved in the search of Moray Firth, near MacDuff.
A rescue helicopter from Inverness was also been called in to help.
However, following searches and further enquiries, it has been determined that the call was a hoax and a Police Scotland investigation has now been launched.
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.
“Inquiries are ongoing into this particular incident and anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 1748 of August 9.”