Author: Dan Holland
Following the discovery of a red Renault Clio car abandoned on the Kessock Bridge in the early hours of Friday 28 December the volunteer crew of RNLI Kessock were tasked to conduct a search of the Beauly Firth for a missing person.
Officers from Northern Constabulary found the vehicle at around 4.30am and the RNLI volunteers were paged shortly after.
In good conditions for searching, the volunteer crew of The Moray Dolphin, searched the water to the east of the Kessock Bridge, while teams from Inverness Coastguard and Police dog handlers searched the shorelines. The Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 100 based in Stornoway arrived on scene and searched from the air.
After 2 hours of searching in the darkness with nothing found, the Lifeboat returned to the Lifeboat station for a crew change and to refuel. Inverness Coastguard and officers from Northern Constabulary co-ordinated their searches from the Lifeboat station at North Kessock.
The search continued for a further 2 hours in deteriorating weather conditions before being temporarily suspended.
It was decided to recommence the search later in the day at 12.00 around the time of high water. The volunteer crew of RNLI Kessock launched the Lifeboat again, now in poorer weather conditions to continue searching for the missing person.
Following another 2 hours of searching in winds between 20 – 23 knots with no sign of the missing person the crew were stood down from the search and returned to the Lifeboat station. The Moray Dolphin was washed down and refuelled again ready to be launched when next requested.
Northern Constabulary request that anyone who was in the area of the Kessock Bridge and may have seen a man inside or outside a Red Renault Clio car sometime between 0400 and 0430 is urged to contact them on 01463 715555.
This was the 2nd shout in as many days for the volunteers of RNLI Kessock