The rattle of weapons fire rang out around Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne on Wednesday - though local residents were relieved when they quickly discovered the sound wasn’t the real thing.
The unmistakable rat-a-tat came from two Royal Navy ships on exercises off Ardbeg Point - one of them an old friend to the island through her past affiliation with Rothesay.
HMS Brocklesby, one of eight Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels based in Portsmouth, was launched in 1982 and commissioned 13 months later.
She was joined for Wednesday’s exercise by HMS Pembroke, a Sandown-class minehunter based at HMNB Clyde at Faslane, and by at least one dark-coloured aircraft which made several swoops over Kames Bay during the two ships’ presence in the area.
By the time The Buteman reached the scene the aircraft in question had departed, though the sound of simulated weapons fire and of orders being issued from both ships could still be clearly heard.
A short time later the two vessels left the area and, as this article was published, were passing the Cloch lighthouse heading for an unspecified destination.