FOUR coastguard rescue teams and the Helensburgh lifeboat crew have all been called out to help in the search for a missing man in the Arrochar area.

The hunt for 58-year-old Thomas Saunders was launched after several members of the public reported that a blue Volkswagen Golf appeared to have been abandoned near a forestry track at Ardgartan, to the west of the village.

In addition to the Helensburgh lifeboat crew, coastguard teams from Helensburgh, Kilcreggan, Inveraray and Dunoon have all taken part in the search, along with the Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team and officers from Police Scotland and the Ministry of Defence Police – so far without success.

Police Scotland said in a statement that efforts to try and trace Mr Saunders had so far been unsuccessful and that he had now officially been reported missing.

Footage has been found showing Mr Saunders in an Asda supermarket in Leith on December 14. Police say they believe he subsequently drove to the Arrochar area, but they are not sure when the journey was made.

Mr Saunders is described as white, of medium build, with green eyes and short white/grey hair. He may not be clean shaven.

Sergeant Alan Heron from Helensburgh police station said: “Our officers have been trying to trace Thomas, the owner of a car left abandoned near to a forestry track, and as time goes on we are growing increasingly concerned for him.

“So far we have traced some of his extended relatives, who also want to make sure he is safe and well. We are appealing for anyone who knows of Thomas to also get in touch with us.

“We are also still asking those in the Arrochar area to think back, do you remember seeing his car in this area? How long ago was this?

"We do now believe that he was driver of his car before it was parked up.

“I would also like to reiterate, Thomas please get in touch with police – we just want to make sure you are safe and well.”

The Helensburgh RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at 11.38am on Wednesday, January 2 to assist in the search, but was asked to stand down after a few hours and was back on station shortly before 2.30pm.

The coastguard and mountain rescue teams were also stood down as night fell on Wednesday after no sign of Mr Saunders was found.

Anyone with information about Mr Saunders' whereabouts is being asked to contact police via 101, quoting incident number 1270 of Friday 28 December 2018.