The laser was shone at a Coastguard Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. Photo: MCA

The laser was shone at a Coastguard Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. Photo: MCA

Police have warned the public of the potential catastrophic consequences of shining lasers at aircraft after a search and rescue helicopter was targeted.

Police Scotland also appealed for information after the incident on Saturday over the Cromarty Firth in Ross-shire.

The Bristow-operated Coastguard Sikorksy S-92 had the green laser pointed at it about 9.30pm.

The beam was shone from the centre of Alness, police said. A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Members of the public are reminded that such reckless conduct can have potentially catastrophic consequences for the crew of the helicopter.”

The force also appealed for anyone with information to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Inverness-based Sikorsky S-92, which has taken over search and rescue duties formerly performed by the RAF Sea Kings from Lossiemouth, was involved on Saturday in the rescue of two people on a microlight aircraft that ditched in the sea in the Cromarty Firth after getting into difficulties.

The Invergordon RNLI Lifeboat was launched and the Inverness Coastguard rescue helicopter was scrambled. The Inverness, Cromarty and Portmahomack Coastguard Rescue Teams were sent to the scene.

The lifeboat launched its inflatable rescue craft and recovered the two people from their craft. They were then airlifted from there and taken by the Coastguard helicopter to hospital.

Calum Christie of the UK Coastguard said: “Although shocked and hypothermic, the crew were uninjured. It was fortunate that they were spotted by other aircraft who quickly reported their predicament.

“We were able to get rescue resources on scene swiftly resulting in a positive outcome.”

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