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Full-scale sea search was a false alarm.

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat launched this morning in response to an activated emergency beacon.

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat launched this morning on service, heading up Longhope Bay.

RNLI/Mary Harris

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat launched this morning on service

RNLI Longhope lifeboat was requested to launch this morning at 06.14 by UK Coastguard. They were tasked to search for a emergency position indicating radio beacon – EPIRB that had been activated and it's signal picked up by UK Coastguard.

The signal received indicated a rather vague area covering the Hoy Sound, Burra Sound and waters around Graemsay and Stromness. Both Longhope and Stromness lifeboats searched these areas along with the Hoy, Stromness and Kirkwall local Coastguards searching the shores.

UK Coastguard helicopter Rescue 900 also joined in the search and managed to pinpoint the beacon signal to a shed in Stromness where it had accidentally been activated.

The lifeboats were stood down and returned to stations.

Conditions at sea were very good and the event clearly illustrated the benefits, when used correctly, of vessels carrying an EPIRB, and the rapid response from the emergency services when the device is activated.

Longhope lifeboat was back at station and refuelled by 10.00.

Key facts about the RNLI

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, Carrybridge 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland