The RNLI have launched a campaign that urges people to show greater respect for the sea after highlighting 39 people have lost their lives around the Scottish coast in the last year.
One of those who have died was Lossiemouth man Ben Rayner, who was just 38 when he was killed in a diving incident yards from Findochty Harbour.
Tragedy was avoided off Lossiemouth earlier this month when an off-duty RAF airman moved quickly to save the life of a 12-year-old girl at Lossiemouth’s east beach.
RNLI community incident reduction officer Michael Avril launched the organisation’s “Respect for the Water” campaign this week.
He said: “With more people losing their lives at the coast each year that are killed on cycling accidents, we are trying to make people realise that they are at risk from drowning if they do not follow some basic but important safety advice.
“Of course we want people to go to the coast and enjoy it – we are lucky to have an exceptional coastline.
“But we want people to understand there are risks and that they should not underestimate the power of the sea.”
Diving incidents and commercial use of water accounted for more than a quarter of all accidents around the Scottish coastline, while more than a fifth of those who lost their lives in the last four years after slipping from cliffs as they were walking or running along the coastline.