Two passengers who had to be airlifted to safety after their pleasure boat ploughed into rocks sparked a second emergency by trying to return to the stricken vessel.
Shortly after 1.20pm yesterday, the small boat ran aground to the west of Whitehills, near Banff.
It is thought that the small boat, the Tei-Joy, ran ashore after a rope became tangled in the propeller system, cutting its power.
The two passengers, thought to be the boat’s owner and his wife, clambered from the
Tei-Joy on to rocks before they were winched to safety by the Bond 1 coastguard helicopter.
Macduff RNLI lifeboat, as well as the Portsoy and Banff coastguard teams, were tasked to help with the incident.
But RNLI chiefs last night reprimanded the pair for causing another call-out shortly after the Macduff vessel had been returned to its base.
It emerged that the rescued duo “had been seen by local coastguards with the casualty vessel”, causing the rescue team “to have immediate concern for their safety”.
The boat was scrambled once again, while coastguard personnel persuaded the people to come ashore.
Helmsman James West said: “The crew were fortunate that the lifeboat and helicopter were both available to assist them when they ran aground.”
Macduff lifeboat operations manager Roy Morrison said: “To be called out a second time to the same location is disappointing and worrying.
“Our lifeboat volunteers and members of our partners in the coastguard go out in all weathers and any time of day or night to assist people in danger, we do not expect to be called back to the same location to assist people for a second time within such a short space of time.”
Macduff coxswain Chassey Findlay said: “I am concerned that after an operation with a rescue helicopter and a lifeboat, someone would think it was sensible to go and put themselves in danger in the situation and location that had been the focus of a rescue operation only a short time earlier.
‘I have to stress that human life is worth more than any vessel and this afternoon could have turned out very differently.”