Rescuers who launched a search operation after detecting a maritime distress signal yesterday discovered that the alarm was not coming from a vessel in difficulties but from the back of a van on a ferry.
The RNLI Lifeboat in Kirkwall lifeboat launched yesterday after the Coastguard picked up the signal in the vicinity of the Lashy and Eday Sounds.
But after a fruitless search for the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) it was determined that it came from a car on a ferry.
The RNLI team launched at 11.21am that was picked up by the Shetland Coastguard and the lifeboat was on scene just after midday and after searching for around 10 minutes the lifeboat crew were stood down because the owner of the EPIRB had been located.
The Coastguard managed to trace the man through the registered owner of the beacon who had just sold it the day before and passed on the contact details of the man transporting it.
The EPIRB started emitting a light when he removed it from the boat and did so again when he put it in the back of his van before heading for the ferry.