A lifesaving north-east charity has received a £1,000 funding boost to cover extra costs from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (Miro) was called out 18 times between March and August – an increase of nearly 100% from the same period last year.
The Findhorn-based lifeboat has responded to emergencies involving swimmers, fishing boats and horses trapped by the tide.
Now the charity has received a funding boost from the Tesco stores in Elgin and Forres as part of a scheme to support groups helping communities during lockdown.
Face coverings, hand gel, gloves and additional fuel have all contributed to extra running costs for the lifeboat this year.
Peter Mackenzie, Miro’s operations manager, said: “The easing of lockdown restrictions combined with good weather and uncertainty around holidaying abroad has brought lots of locals and unprecedented numbers of visitors to our beautiful Moray beaches to enjoy the sun, sand and water. Unfortunately, a number of people and animals have got into difficulties.”
Chairman John Low said: “This latest support from Tesco has meant that we do not need to worry about how to fund our escalating fuel bills, which have increased significantly to more than £610 in June and July compared with £71 in May.
“We have also used it to fund personal protective equipment needed to protect both the crew, shore support volunteers and people who are rescued.”
Miro responds to emergency calls on Findhorn Bay as well as along the coastline between Burghead and Nairn.
It was formed in 2005 following the death of local sailor Glyn Whitehead, who died at sea two years earlier.