Portaferry RNLI take part in multi-agency search for distress beacon
The volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Friday (2 August) at 6:58pm to aid in locating an Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).
The volunteer lifeboat crew were attending a crew barbeque at Portaferry lifeboat station when paged by Belfast Coastguard. The crew launched at 7:06pm in sunny weather with good visibility and a glassy calm sea state.
When on scene the Portaferry lifeboat crew carried out a shoreline search pattern and then assisted Donghadee RNLI all-weather lifeboat in an expanding square search pattern of Burial Island, in an attempt to locate the Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon.
Portaferry RNLI and Donghadee RNLI crew were joined by HM Coastguard helicopter Rescue 116, Portaferry coastguard rescue team and Irish Naval Service vessel LE Ciara.
The EPIRB was located using the direction finding equipment on Rescue 116 and was located inland in a farmers shed. The EPIRB had been accidentally activated and the owner was not aware of it going off.
All units were stood down when it was confirmed that no life was in danger. Portaferry RNLI crew returned to the station at 9:05pm to continue with their crew barbeque and to celebrate two lifeboat volunteer crew members passing their training and attending their first callouts as crew member and helm.
Commenting on the call-out, Simon Exley, Portaferry RNLI Helm said: ‘This was my first call-out as a lifeboat helm, after recently being passed out. It was great to get to work alongside Donghadee RNLI and Rescue 116. Thankfully this was a false alarm and all was well.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Jordan Conway Portaferry RNLI Deputy Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on Tel: 074 87 762226 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00353 876483547 or Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 00353 871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk
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.