Missing kayaker sparks major search

A major search was sparked after a kayaker was reported missing off a North-east coastline.

Three lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter were launched at around 4pm on Saturday to search for what is thought to be a male kayaker in Banff.

A radio call was made on Channel 16 to the Coastguard that stated that a person was in a kayak and in distress in the area of Banff Links beach, to the west of Banff.

Lifeboats from Macduff, Buckie and Fraserburgh were launched, as well as a coastguard helicopter from Inverness and coastguard rescue teams from Banff and Portsoy.

The crews searched the sea and along the shore between Portsoy and Pennan, in poor lighting and conditions before suspending their efforts at around 9pm for the night due to the deteriorating weather.

The search was renewed yesterday morning just after 10am, however scaled back with only one lifeboat requested to launch, from Macduff, to check over the area from the previous evening.

A Coastguard spokesman said: “We relaunched the Macduff Lifeboat at 10am on Sunday to perform a search of the area that was searched yesterday.

“The search continued until 12.20pm and was stood down.

“Teams from Banff and Portsoy have also been assisting with the search.

“We have been in touch with a local kayaking group to see if they have been made aware of a kayaker going out and they were not aware of anyone.

“From the sound of the voice it would indicate that the kayaker  was a male.”

The spokesman added that a decision will now be taken as to how the search will continue, with the search winding down in the meantime.

Anyone with information on the kayaker is asked to call 01224 592334 or 999 and ask for the Coastguard.