A group of divers plunged into the depths of D-Day history to explore an unusual wartime wreck.
The Deeside Divers regularly take to the water to marvel at reefs, shipwrecks and the wildlife they attract.
But on Sunday, the group decided to turn their attention to an oft-forgotten part of Second World War history off the Moray coastline, on the eve of the anniversary celebrations.
Lying underwater at Burghead is a Valentine tank – one of a number used during preparations for the Normandy landings.
The armoured vehicle, once fitted with a flotation skirt that saw it the nicknamed a “Donald Duck”, it was designed to be landed on the beaches.Now covered in algae and barnacles, the wreck is a lasting reminder of the intense preparations for the Normandy landings – and evidence of the tank’s unsuitability for its chosen role.
On Tuesday, the Press and Journal revealed the pre-invasion exercises at Burghead, Nairn, Culbin Forest and Findhorn – and further east at Lossiemouth – ultimately ruled them out of a part in D-Day.
The hope was they would easily transition from landing craft off-shore to the beaches. In reality, a number – such as that off Burghead – simply sank.
Brian Burnett, a member of the diving group, recorded video footage of the wreck and also created a 3D interactive image.
It reveals how well-preserved the vehicle is, despite the passage of years.
Mr Burnett said: “This particular tank is well-known. There are others that are known about too and have been for many years.
“We’re generally interested in shipwrecks, so this is a particularly unusual type of dive for us. The tank is a fantastic piece of history.
“A lot of the divers are interested in the stories behind the wrecks and the people that were involved in them.
“When you dive on the big military wrecks where hundreds of people have died you develop a reverence for it.”
As many as eight Valentine tanks were lost during the training on the Moray coast, with one that sunk off Culbin claiming a life and becoming a registered war grave in the process.
The failure of the tanks on Moray’s beaches led to their replacement by US Sherman tanks by the time Allied forces landed on the beaches of France.
The Deeside Divers group always welcomes new members and more information can be found out about their activities by searching for them on Facebook.