Red flare prompts search by Longhope RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

The first shout of 2020 for Longhope lifeboat volunteer crew saw them paged at 10.01pm on February 1st and requested by the UK coastguard to attend near Duncansby Head.

RNLI/Andy Fellows

Lifeboat preparing to leave Longhope pier
All-weather lifeboat, Helen Comrie was quickly launched and proceeded towards Gills Bay where a search commenced after reports of red flares, seen out to sea in the area. Wick lifeboat was launched almost simultaneously and began a search from the south of Duncansby Head, eventually joining the Longhope lifeboat in waters south of Stroma.

Sea conditions and visibility were good and the search was assisted by a shuttle tanker also passing through the Pentland Firth at the same time. The lifeboats did not find any evidence of vessels or persons in distress but, at the request of the UK coastguard, broadened their search, with Longhope crew scouring the eastern shore of Stroma before being stood down at 11.32pm.

The Helen Comrie then quickly returned to the station at Longhope and was refuelled and made ready for service once again.

RNLI/Andy Fellows

Lifeboat Helen Comrie leaving the pier at Longhope

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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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