Four tourists are “very lucky” to be alive after getting into difficulty while kayaking in the Pentland Firth.
Rescue teams were deployed to assist four kayakers in the strait between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea on Sunday, near Duncansby Head.
One of the kayakers managed to make it to shore themselves, while the other three were rescued by RNLI lifeboats, assisted by coastguard rescue teams from Melvich, Wick, Duncansby and Scrabster.
Lifeboats from Thurso, Wick and Longhope also joined in the rescue effort.
HM Coastguard Highland posted on Facebook: “One lifejacket for four people? Blow up kayaks near the Pentland Firth? No lives lost. Quite remarkable.
“When you are doing the NC500, respect the sea, she doesn’t care where you are from. These people are very lucky they are alive. Thank you for all the rescuers who were involved.”
The rescue took place on the same weekend that six people lost their lives in Scottish waters in just over 24 hours.
The youngest victim was a boy of nine, while a seven-year-old boy is also fighting for his life after they both got into difficulty in the water near to Pulpit Rock at Loch Lomond, south of Ardlui, on Saturday evening.
HM Coastguard Scrabster posted on Facebook: “We cannot stress enough how important it is to be properly prepared when going into the water.
“Equipment like life jackets, buoyancy aids, a means of communication and appropriate clothing are vital. As always, if you see someone in trouble by the water, coastline or shore, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”