Scarborough and Whitby RNLI respond to call which turns out to be a hoax

Lifeboats News Release

Scarborough and Whitby’s all-weather lifeboats were called out in the middle of the night during what turned out to be a hoax.

The Shannon being launched at night earlier this year

RNLI/Dave Barry

The Shannon being launched at night earlier this year

A man dialled 999 and said he was a lone yachtsman who had injured himself at sea.

Being uncertain of the exact position, the Coastguard asked the lifeboats to conduct a parallel search of a huge area of sea between the two towns.

The Whitby lifeboat was tasked with a shoreline search around Robin Hood’s Bay.

Scarborough’s Shannon lifeboat set off on the first of six radar searches of lanes 24 miles long and two miles wide.

The lifeboat was launched at midnight, just three hours after being rehoused following a four-hour exercise.

The sea had a moderate swell and it was pouring with rain, like sleet.

The search was called off when the police and Coastguard figured out that the emergency call was a hoax.

John Senior, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: 'It appears that the individual concerned was worse for wear on the Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry when he called 999 and asked for an ambulance.

'After call triangulation indicating he was somewhere off Robin Hood's Bay, the Coastguard were informed and a major air-and-sea search was set in motion', said John, who assisted the shore crew.

After rehousing and washing the Shannon, the crew of six – plus the shore crew - weren’t back in their beds until 4am.

By coincidence, two of the crew had spent three nights last week on an intensive radar training course.

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For more information please contact Dave Barry, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07890 322992.

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