Red Cross swift water rescue teams were yesterday (Tues) called in to help search for a woman missing in the Kyle of Lochalsh area.
Six specially trained volunteers in two highly manoeuvrable rigid inflatable boats were searching rocky inlets on the mainland coast just north of the Skye Bridge.
The Red Cross teams were called in by Northern Constabulary to support the RNLI, Coastguard, Royal Navy and mountain rescuers searching for the missing woman, who is in her 50s.
The woman is believed to have driven from her home in Mallaig to Kyle of Lochalsh, where her car was found parked.
Ian Rideout, Red Cross operations director for Northern Scotland, said: “Our two teams are searching a stretch of water about four kilometres long north of the Skye Bridge.
“The boats we are using are small and highly manoeuvrable RIBs which allow us to search in areas inaccessible to larger craft. There are a lot of rocky outcrops and shallow inlets along the shore, which makes searching a slow process.
“There is a bit of a chop on the water which doesn’t help the search operation, but other than that, conditions are fairly good. The biggest handicap is failing light. We expect to be stood down for the night about 6pm. We will be on standby to resume the search tomorrow should the authorities request our support.”
The Red Cross swift water rescue unit is based in Inverness and is equipped with a variety of rescue craft including three specialist rescue boats and a hovercraft.
Four of the six volunteers taking part in the hunt for the missing woman live locally in Kyle of Lochalsh and the two boats being used in the search are stationed at a Red Cross training centre in the town.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.