A FILM stunt of a parachutist spiralling out of control prompted an air, land and sea search costing thousands of pounds.

Police criticised the film-makers for failing to inform them of the stunt near Oban, saying they had wasted emergency crew resources.

Oban RNLI lifeboat and coastguard teams from Oban and Appin assisted police, along with the force helicopter and Oban Mountain Rescue Team, to search the area between Ganavan Sands and Dunstaffnage.

Chief Inspector Alistair Davidson said inquiries quickly revealed the incident was a pre-planned stunt by a French parachute team, who were filming a documentary.

He said: "A full air-sea rescue operation was put into place, including the force helicopter from Glasgow, the Marine Coastguard Agency and the lifeboat, and the mountain rescue team was called out.

"The costs of mounting such an operation are significant and it's incredulous that the organisers would neglect to inform the police. Had these resources been required elsewhere, for a genuine incident, we may not have been available to respond."

Iain MacKinnon, station officer of Oban Coastguard volunteer team, said: "The cost of the call-out, for the coastguard and lifeboat alone, would have been about £5000."