Looe RNLI's 'superheroes' to the rescue
It was a scene reminiscent of the Batman and Robin sketch from the BBC’s ‘Only Fools and Horses’ TV show in the early hours of New Year's Day as several Looe RNLI crewmembers were seen dashing through the streets in fancy dress responding to a shout.
Still in their New Year’s Eve fancy dress including Superman, Spiderman, Donald Trump Banana Man and two Black Swans - they were seen by amazed onlookers as they raced through Looe's busy and narrow streets to the boathouse responding to the pager.
The call came at 12.50am on New Year's Day, as many of the crew were heading home after the town's New Year celebrations. The crew quickly changed out of their fancy dress and into their lifeboat kit and launched the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue II to carry out a search, after four flares were fired between Hannafore and Looe Island.
Following an extensive search nothing was found and the lifeboat stood down at 1.45am. On further investigation by the Coastguards it was found that the flares were fired from the shore at Hannafore.
David Haines, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Looe RNLI, says: ‘We take this sort of incident very seriously. We are always mindful that false alarms of this type may have more serious consequences as valuable resources were committed and if a more serious shout had come in the ability to respond would have been less than desired. Rescuers’ lives are put at risk every time lifeboat crews are called out, in hazardous winter conditions, to what they assume to be a genuine cry for help’.
The RNLI said it is an offence to fire distress flares other than if you are in distress and heavy fines may be imposed, especially when resulting from a hoax call.
RNLI notes to editors
Attached is a selection of photos of some of the crew in their fancy dress. Credit Ian Foster for the images.
For further information on Looe Lifeboats please visit our website at www.looelifeboats.co.uk
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer, on email@example.com or 07786 668847 For urgent calls out of hours please contact the Duty RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.