EMERGENCY services, including a rescue helicopter, were called out to search for a missing swimmer off the East Lothian coast yesterday (afternoon).

Coastguard teams from Dunbar and North Berwick, as well as colleagues from Eyemouth and Berwick, were joined by RNLI teams from Dunbar, Eyemouth and St Abbs shortly before 3pm.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 199, based in Ayrshire, was also called out.

The call came from Police Scotland after reports of a sea swimmer who was “unaccounted for” after three hours at Barns Ness, to the south-east of Dunbar.

A spokesman for Dunbar Coastguard said: “Coastguards conducted a ‘hasty search’ of the immediate area around the swimmer's last seen position while the coastguard officer in charge (OiC) formulated a search plan.

“As coastguards regrouped for a search briefing, a sea swimmer was spotted by RNLI personnel off White Sands.

“The swimmer was taken to shore by Dunbar ILB (in-shore lifeboat) and confirmed by East Lothian Police to be the missing person.

“The swimmer stated they had planned to be in the water for even longer and there was no cause for concern.

“We never put a price on human life. If we get a 999 call, we treat it as real.

“We encourage people to call us if they see someone in trouble, even if they’re not sure whether they are or not."