RNLI lifeboat crews search after red flare sighting

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteers from Aberystwyth and New Quay launched into the dark on Friday (11 November) at 8pm to carry out a search after multiple red distress flare sightings had been reported.

The RNLI lifeboats were asked to carry out the search by The UK Coastguard who had received numerous sightings of the flare just off Aberystwyth. The Aberystwyth Coastguard Rescue Team volunteers were also tasked to carry out a shoreline search.

Aberystwyth RNLI's Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Spirit of Friendship was quickly on scene and fired a number of white flares to illuminate the area and coastline whilst carrying out a search pattern.

New Quay RNLI's all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge made its way to Aberystwyth where it joined the search further out to sea, carrying out a complimentary search pattern. The two lifeboats were also assisted by the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon.

With deteriorating weather conditions and nearly three hours of searching, utilising night vision equipment, radar, infra-red and powerful search lights and with nothing found, the decision was made to call off the search as a false alarm with good intent.

New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Roger Couch said: 'The New Quay crew were pleased we could provide support to Aberystwyth in this search, especially new crew member Oliver Edwards who was on his first ‘shout.'

Paul Williams, volunteer Helm from Aberystwyth RNLI said: 'We would always urge people to call the coastguard if they see a flare or any distress signal out at sea and if people have old flares they don’t want, we would ask them to dispose of them safely.'

RNLI media contact
For more information please contact Paul McCann Aberystwyth Lifeboat Press Officer on 07787 785614 or Eleri Roberts, RNLI Public Relations Manager on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or email eleri_roberts@rnli.org.uk .

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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