Cullercoats RNLI launch to 'person in the water'
Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Cullercoats Lifeboat at 3:10pm after recieving a 999 call from a member of the public, reporting a teenager being washed off the rocks near Cullercoats.
The lifeboat crew arrived at the station within minutes and prepared the lifeboat for service. With a high tide and choppy seas, the lifeboat launched to waves crashing over Cullercoats North Pier. The lifeboat initially was tasked to search the area known as the Bears Back between Cullercoats and Tynemouth, but was later directed to Browns Bay as further information regarding the location of the reported missing person was received.
With the lifeboat searching the coastal waters around Browns Bay, and the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade searching the shoreline, further information was gained from the person who had dialled 999. The report was a teenage boy may have been swept from the low rocks and did not resurface. Northumbria Police also tasked their Helicopter to help conduct the search from the air. Having conducted a thorough search of the area, and confident that there was no person in the water, all emergency responders were stood down by Humber Coastguard at 4:27pm. The lifeboat returned to Cullercoats Bay and, due to the sea conditions, was recovered via a Net Recovery, where the boat is driven bow first on to the launch trailer. The lifeboat was subsequently jacked up from the trailer and turned, using the Cullercoats Lifeboat turntable, rehoused and made ready for service.
A report of a person in the water, close to the cliffs or sea walls, particularly in the conditions witnessed today is one of the most time critical shouts a crew can respond to. If you see a person in difficulty in the water, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Although apparently a false alarm with good intention on this is occasion, this demonstrated an excellent response by the Cullercoats Lifeboat and our colleagues at Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade, Northumbria Police and Humber Coastguard.
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.