Four anglers were rescued by emergency services after becoming stranded in the River North Esk when rapidly rising flood water trapped them.
The alarm was raised at 3.30pm on Monday (October 6) and emergency services were called to rescue a fisherman who was stuck on an island in the river near Marykirk.
Shortly after, emergency services received reports of three more anglers trapped on another island further down the river.
Fire crews from Stonehaven and Laurencekirk, a water rescue unit from Dundee and coastguards from Montrose were called to the scene near Marykirk. A rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland was also summoned.
Scottish Fire and Rescue rescued Geoffrey Burnand (72), from Hampshire, by an inflatable dinghy.
Husband and wife Guy (74) and Sarah Norrie (67), from Dumfries, and Mr Norrie’s older brother, George, were rescued from a island at the Lower Northwaterbridge by the rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer after the alarm was raised by Mr Burnand, a family friend.
The four anglers were on a regular visit to the area and Mr Burnand had been fishing a little further upstream than his friends after a successful morning.
Ross Greenhill, area commander for HM Coastguard, said: “The main thing when there is a lot of rain is people don’t realise the rate the river can rise. On Monday, the river rose at a very quick rate.
“Even if it has stopped raining, it doesn’t mean the water won’t rise. You have to be aware of what is happening further up stream, it can take time for the water from further up the river to make its way down, but usually once it does, it happens quickly. The conditions can seem fine but an hour later it can get worse. If you are fishing when it is raining heavily avoid using islands but be wary that banks can get slippy. If you are wading also watch out for debris. On Monday there was a lot of large debris moving very quickly down the river.
“If you do see the river starting to rise, as soon as you do if you can get to safety, otherwise stay where you are and call for help. Don’t try to wade back across to the bank.
“None of the anglers on Monday had a life jacket on. If you are going fishing or wading in rivers, wear a life jacket, it could be the difference between life and death.”