Two men were dramatically rescued from the sea and landed ashore at Lossiemouth’s East Beach on Sunday afternoon, one helped by a local man before both were airlifted to safety by a RAF Lossiemouth rescue helicopter.
The drama unfolded in mid afternoon as hundreds once again flocked to the Moray beauty spot to enjoy the exceptional summer weather.
An eye witness was Erin Ralph, who on a day out with family members was swimming close to the shore when she heard calls for help and noted two men who were in trouble and being swept out to sea.
Erin’s calls alerted her uncle, Graham Smith, who with the alarm raised swam out to help one of the men.
Erin said: “My Uncle Graham got hold of one of the lifebelts and managed to reach the first guy and put that on him. However, by the time he swam to shore for another lifebelt we could not see the other man as he was so far out to sea.
“Fortunately the helicopter arrived just at that moment – and very quickly located the first guy who was wearing the lifebelt and got him to shore. They then went in search of the second man, I’m not sure if they then took him to hospital.”
Erin’s mother Carolle Ralph, a former Moray councillor, added: “It is a rescue that underlined the importance of having the helicopters based so close to the Moray shoreline, which is always packed with locals and holidaymakers in the summer months in particular.
“Sadly this will not always be the case as the military rescue services here are being replaced by civilian rescue services that will not necessarily be based at Lossiemouth, and had that been the case today we might have had a very different outcome.”