Possible hoax distress call interrupts Rhyl RNLI volunteers on Open Day.
The spoken word 'Mayday' was heard on the marine distress radio channel by the UK coastguard at Holyhead, and also by the RNLI lifeguards at Rhyl beach.
The charity's volunteers were paged at 11.56am on Saturday 11 August to launch both the inshore lifeboat 'Mary Maxwell' and the relief all-weather lifeboat 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'.
They were already at the station for the Open Day, and so both boats were launched within six minutes of being paged.
The coastguard requested the all-weather lifeboat search offshore between Pensarn beach and Prestatyn Barkby beach; and the inshore lifeboat to search Rhyl harbour and close inshore between the same two points.
Local coastguards, who were also attending the Open day, made enquiries on the Rhyl promenade area.
The lifeboats searched for about two hours, investigating all craft within the search area, with no results. The search was the called off by UK coastguard, as nothing further had been heard on the distress channel. The lifeboats and coastguards then returned to the event.
Martin Jones, Rhyl Coxswain said: ' This incident used up many resources in a search, which could have delayed any genuine rescues that occurred'.
He continued: ' As well as wasting the volunteers' time, this also meant that the crew were not able to be on station collecting for our charity, and may seriously affect the total amount collected'
The attached pictures show the lifeboats' tracks, and the Rhyl all-weather lifeboat returning to station.
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, in a normal year, 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.