An open water swimmer who was rescued from the Moray Firth near Nairn after getting into difficulty has told how he was saved by his decision to don a wetsuit.
Seth King, 19, spent three hours in the freezing sea on Monday evening.
He was swept out into the Moray Firth as he tried to reach Nairn after going for a one-hour swim.
However, he got into difficulties off the East Pier at about 6pm and was forced to cling onto a buoy for two hours, about 800 yards from shore.
Mr King revealed to the Inverness Courier that he was caught out by the tide when he returned to the harbour entrance.
He had already been in the water for about an hour completing a swim towards the Old Bar peninsula from the harbour mouth and back again.
The lobster boat crewman said: “I was shouting for help but the cold was getting to me. I usually swim in shorts and T-shirt but for some reason I put on my wetsuit – it definitely saved my life.”
He thanked Coastguard teams who rescued him after passers-by raised the alarm on Monday.
Callout – Open water swimmer rescued – #Nairn An emergency call to Police just before 2030 yesterday evening, 19th…
A large-scale search and rescue operation was launched on Monday evening after the police were called about Mr King being in difficulty.
Coastguard Rescue Teams from Nairn and Inverness were sent, along with the Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation Boat, RNLI Kessock Lifeboat, and the Coastguard Rescue helicopter.
Mr King was recovered by helicopter and taken to Raigmore Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and discharged in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Kessock lifeboat, Atlantic 85, was nearing the end of its training exercise when the crew of four diverted back east into the Moray Firth and towards the reported location.
They were not utilised as the helicopter was already winching Mr King from the water.