The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is developing drone technology to help it in search and rescue missions.
The MCA is hoping the device will be able to help it during searches in water, along the coastline and in the Scottish Highlands.
A report from the Press and Journal, a regional paper serving Aberdeen and Inverness, said how a trial taking place in England this month will inform the agency on the type of model that will be relied upon.
An MCA spokesman commented: “Broadly speaking, we are exploring two operational areas; the use of small drones, rotary and fixed wing, in local tactical situations and the use of larger drones operating beyond visual line of sight.”
They added: “These latter devices will initially be in the maritime domain, to provide support to rescue teams, to monitor pollution and to help with vessel traffic management.”
The Press and Journal report detailed how the MCA is expecting the drone to have the capability to assess emergency situations quickly and efficiently, and could also assess the extent of problems such as oil spills.
The spokesman continued: “The MCA is also looking at using the utility across government for departments with a maritime interest, who would wish to use an air platform to conduct work such as coastal erosion and counting sea birds.
Concluding: “We are planning a 12-month operational evaluation in April with a police drone team working alongside Coastguard Rescue Teams, and the RNLI. We hope to announce the detail of that in the coming weeks.”