Concern for swimmer spotted in Tay

editorial image

A major operation was launched last night (Monday) after several reports were made of a fully-clothed man swimming in the River Tay.

Police Scotland was alerted to the situation by members of the public who reported a man ‘swimming’ in the water between Dundee and Broughty Ferry in the Stannergate area at around 5.40pm.

The man is described as being in his 40s, white, with a bald head. He was wearing a red T-shirt, a black jacket, dark trousers and Converse trainers.

Broughty Ferry RNLI crews were alerted to the emergency at 5.42pm. With the assistance of a volunteer shore crew the inshore lifeboat was launched eight minutes later. The larger all weather lifeboat, Elizabeth of Glamis was launched a short time later.

Local coastguard units were also deployed to the scene.

The Inshore lifeboat was at the scene of the initial sighting quickly and immediately commenced a systematic and thorough search of the area. It was soon joined by the second lifeboat. Following the search where no one was found the lifeboat crews then focussed their search around and under the three oil rigs currently berthed in Dundee Port.

During the search an item of clothing was found that was thought may have belonged to the missing person. The crews continued to search and focussed on an extensive shore to shore search around the Tay road and rail bridges, before the inshore lifeboat returned to station to allow a team of relief volunteers to take over. Both lifeboats then searched a large area of the river up to Tayport.

Following a reported sighting near Newport the lifeboats along with the Coastguard helicopter made for the location, however no one was found. It was believed that a mooring buoy had been mistaken for someone in the water.

Both RNLI lifeboats were stood down and returned to station just before 11pm as no person had been found.

Today (Tuesday) Police Scotland renewed their appeal for information regarding the incident.

Chief Inspector Ian Scott said: “I would appeal to any members of the public who knows someone that matches the description of the man seen to come forward to assist us with enquiries.

“We have recovered a black jacket and a set of Ford car keys, so the man may have access to a Ford vehicle.

“Officers are continuing with searches today and the Police Scotland helicopter is expected to attend in the area to assist with searching.

“I would also appeal to the man in question to contact us to let us know if he is safe and well.

“Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.”