Highlands & Islands

Cardboard boats aid Nato war games off Scotland

Drill using cardboard boats onboard HMS Illustrious
Image caption Boats made of paper and cardboard are used in a rehearsal of a commando assault

Boats made of paper and cardboard have aided preparations for an assault by Royal Marines as part of the finale to war games taking place around Scotland.

An image published by the Ministry of Defence shows officers rehearsing the assault using paper models of HMS Illustrious and HMS Bulwark.

The photograph was taken on board HMS Illustrious.

Exercise Joint Warrior has seen UK-led Nato training around north, west and south Scotland. It ends this week.

Illustrious is a helicopter and commando carrier, while Bulwark is the Royal Navy's flagship and capable of carrying up to 405 troops.

Joint Warrior is held twice a year, in spring and autumn.

Models are frequently used by the military to explain manoeuvres while preparing training.

The photograph, taken by Ray Jones from inside HMS Illustrious, has provided people who are not in the military with a rare insight into the practice.

On Thursday, the crew of a Dutch warship taking part in the exercise and RNLI lifeboat went to the aid of sail training yacht.

Eleven youngsters and five crew on board had to be rescued in heavy seas off Iona.

The Alba Venturer was left drifting without power after it became snagged in lobster creel ropes.

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