The Arbroath lifeboat service has issued advice to surfers after an aborted search and rescue mission in the town’s harbour area.
Police cautioned against surfing in freezing temperatures after the sight of a person surfing close to Arbroath harbour sparked a rescue operation.
Officers appealed for the mystery surfer to come forward over the weekend to ensure they were safe and well.
They said “activities like these” put emergency services under pressure.
False call with good intent
A spokeswoman from the RNLI said they stood down their rescue boats shortly before launching.
An RNLI spokeswoman said: “In this case, HM Coastguard have now confirmed they believe this to be a false call with good intent.
“The first informant did the right thing to raise the alarm when they thought someone may have been in difficulty.”
She stopped short of advising against the popular water sport during the lockdown period.
She said: “Our advice to surfers is always to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, check the local forecast for wind, swell and tide, and know your limits.
“Our volunteers remain on call, ready to help others during this lockdown. However, we urge everyone to think carefully about using the sea for exercise or recreation in case you get into difficulty.”
Emergency teams rush to the harbour
Police said they received a report of a person in the water at Arbroath Harbour around 1.30pm on Saturday.
Several Police, HM Coastguard search and rescue vehicles, RNLI team and at least two ambulances rushed to the scene.
Members of the emergency teams were seen congregating next to the lifeboat slipway in the harbour area.
The teams were told a person had been surfing close to the harbour, but had already got out of the water and had left the area in their vehicle.
The police appealed for the mystery surfer to contact them and confirm they are safe and well.
Sergeant Grant McGaughay said: “We want to ensure anyone who was out on the water in the area today is safe and would ask people to get in touch.
“The current weather conditions increase the risk to people and emergency services and we would encourage people not to take part in activities like these.”