Highlands & Islands

'Irresponsible' Barra beach party flares spark rescue operation

A emergency rescue operation was sparked at sea in the Outer Hebrides when red flares were set off by people at a beach party.

Coastguard teams, a rescue helicopter and a fishing boat responded to the emergency call on Saturday night.

Rescuers later discovered the flares had been set off from a beach party near Barra Airport.

Stornoway Coastguard said such actions were "irresponsible".

Watch manager Martin Collins said: "This was an extremely irresponsible action as it has resulted in several rescue units being called out for no good reason.

"Not only that but while assigned to search for the source of these flares, the rescue units were not available for anyone who may have genuinely needed their help."

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