Lifeboat launched to locate a vessel in the Thames Estuary
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat launched to find the source of interference on emergency VHF channel 16
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI All Weather Lifeboat launched at 12.44 pm on Thursday 31 May to try and find the source of interference on the maritime emergency VHF radio frequency, channel 16.
Using the lifeboats sophisticated direction-finding equipment and with radar information from London Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) the source of the interference was traced to a fishing vessel off Shoebury, Essex.
Having made contact and questioned the skipper of the fishing boat its radio was turned off and the interference ceased returning the emergency channel to normal usage.
The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 1.30pm.
Weather conditions: wind easterly force1 with dense fog patches and generally poor visibility
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.