POLICE are investigating following a distress call to the Coastguard which is now understood to have been a hoax.
The mayday radio message was made during the afternoon of Monday and led to a major rescue operation in the Moray Firth off the coast of Macduff.
A further two malicious calls are also believed to have been made to the Coastguard in April 2018 and November 2017 and have now been reported to police.
All the calls are understood to have been made from the north Aberdeenshire area.
Detective Sergeant Rhona Di Meola said: "Any distress call made to the emergency services will be taken seriously and these calls have led to the intensive use of time and resources by the Coastguard and other emergency services.
"Any report of a hoax call will be thoroughly investigated. Every false or inappropriate call takes up the precious time of the Coastguard and other emergency services and prevents someone who really needs immediate help from getting it.
"We would ask that anyone with information gets in touch with police on 101 using reference number 1402 of June 18.
"Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."