Fraserburgh RNLI launched after emergency distress signal received
Fraserbugh RNLI's lifeboat Willie and May Gall was launched following a request from the UK Coastguard at 4.07pm on Tuesday (27 April) after an emergency distress signal device had been activated in an area of the sea west of Fraserburgh.
Fraserburgh RNLI's lifeboat with Coxswain Vic Sutherland, mechanic Chay Cumming, and RNLI volunteer crew members Stephen Brown, Gubby Duncan, Lindsay Palmer, Martyn Runcie and Declan Sutherland aboard, took part in an intensive full scale search of the area between New Aberdour Bay and Gamrie along with the local Coastguard search and rescue team and the Coastguard helicopter.
The intensive search was called off after three hours after the UK Coastguard were satisfied that it seemed likely that no person or vessel was in danger and that the unregistered emergency device had somehow been activated accidentally or unknowingly.
Fraserburgh RNLI Coxswain/Mechanic Vic Sutherland said: ‘We’re all concerned for people’s safety when the pagers go off and we are always glad when all is well and that no one is in danger. We were all on full alert for three hours and carried out a thorough search of the area from the sea until being stood down. The coastguard team carried out a thorough search of the coast line from the shore side, and the Coastguard helicopter searched a large area from the air. Although it seems as though the emergency device was accidentally activated we would always much rather launch and search to ensure no one is in danger, than not launch at all.
'It would really help the Coastguard if an EPIRB or similar distress signalling device was registered to a vessel or an individual so that contact could be made much earlier to locate the source and nature of the emergency transmission. We would call on all owners of such devices to make sure they are registered so that if they are ever activated they can be located quickly and would help us save lives at sea.'
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.