An eyewitness has described how air ambulance paramedics worked against the clock to rescue a Moray teenager trapped by a freak wave.
Local resident Shirley Dee watched on as emergency workers plucked 14-year-old Thomas Hopkins from the rocks at Portknockie after he became entangled in seaweed on Monday night.
Emergency crews were scrambled from as far away as Inverness due to concerns about the youngster’s safety and Mrs Dee described how paramedics worked “like something out of a film” to beat the incoming tide near Bow Fiddle Rock.
“It was amazing to see how they responded so quickly and efficiently,” she said.
“The helicopter was there hovering over the rocks as it sent down the paramedic and a stretcher. It must only have been there for about 15 minutes.
“There were lots of emergency workers down on the beach trying to get a better view of what was happening.
“It really was like something out of a film. I think the whole village must have been out watching.”
After being winched by Coastguard helicopter to the top of nearby cliffs, medics transported Thomas, the stepson of Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor Marc Macrae, to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.
The teen, who had been heading home after taking part in adventure activities with group Aquaplay Scotland, suffered a twisted knee and strained ligaments in his right leg.
Last night Councillor Macrae paid tribute to the emergency workers after it emerged Thomas will make a full recovery.
“I could not be more grateful for the work of the Coastguard and Buckie ambulance,” he said.
“I know coastguard crews were brought in from as far as Buckie, Portsoy and Banff but thankfully there was also a team member who lives locally and was first on the scene.
“They really do a fantastic job and put their lives on the line to save others.
“My wife Sarah and I are very grateful for everything they did for Thomas on Monday night.”