Helicopter ditches in Loch Long as pilot looks for boat

Image caption, The pilot was forced to ditch his helicopter in Loch Long

A pilot escaped serious injury when his helicopter crashed into a loch in Argyll as he was searching for his missing speed boat.

The cabin cruiser was allegedly taken during the night from its mooring near Ardgartan on Loch Long.

The owner went looking for it in his helicopter but was forced to ditch in the water at about 0910 BST.

He managed to swim ashore. His boat was later found drifting on the loch.

It was spotted by a member of the public and investigators found a man asleep on board the vessel, which was towed back to shore.

A man had earlier been reported missing man from a local campsite.

Strathclyde Police said two men, aged 20 and 25, had been arrested in connection with an alleged theft.

Clyde Coastguard was involved in the search for the missing vessel.

A spokesman said: "We started searching and put teams out but it was spotted by someone else. It had not gone very far.

"The man that owns it owns his own helicopter and went looking for it and ended up ditching into the loch, but he managed to get out and swim ashore."

It is not yet known why the helicopter was forced to ditch in the water.

A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: "At around 0700 hrs police received a report that a man was missing from a campsite near Ardgartan.

"It is believed he may have gone out onto the loch in the early hours of the morning in a motorboat.

"It is believed the pilot of the helicopter was the owner of the boat which had allegedly been taken by the missing man.

He added: "The pilot was not seriously injured and did not require hospital treatment."

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