Scarborough RNLI search for device used for when a boat sinks

Lifeboats News Release

Scarborough RNLI didn’t have far to go on its latest shout.

The all-weather Shannon lifeboat

RNLI/Erik Woolcott

The all-weather Shannon lifeboat

The all-weather Shannon lifeboat launched at 8.15am to search for a device which is released when a vessel sinks.

The emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) is a type of emergency locator beacon. It is a portable, battery-powered radio transmitter used in emergencies to locate planes, vessels and people in distress and in need of immediate rescue.

In an emergency, such as a ship sinking or a plane crashing, the device is activated and begins transmitting a continuous radio signal which is used by search and rescue teams to quickly locate the emergency and render aid.

Such a signal was picked up by the Coastguard, which triggered the lifeboat launch. All that was known about the device’s location was that it was within a mile radius of the harbour.

The Shannon’s directional finding equipment indicated that the EPIRB was in the harbour. Every vessel was inspected until a crew member spotted the device’s strobe light inside a small coble. There was no one on the boat and the door was locked so the harbour office called the owner.

The EPIRB had not been registered. If it had, the RNLI would have known which boat it was on. The RNLI recommends that EPIRBs are registered before being fitted.

RNLI Media contacts

For details, ring Scarborough RNLI press officer Dave Barry on 07890 322992.

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

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