Fraserburgh Lifeboat in Search after Emergency Alert
Fraserbugh RNLI's lifeboat Willie and May Gall was launched following a request from the UK Coastguard at 9.25 am on Thursday 21 October after an emergency distress signal device had been activated in an area near Fraserburgh.
Such devices are designed to be activated when someone falls into the sea and they send a signal to the Coastguard who can then initiate a search and rescue.
As soon as the emergency signal had been received the coastguard paged local lifeboat volunteers and they responded immediately.
Fraserburgh RNLI's lifeboat with volunteers Duty Coxswain Dave Sutherland, mechanic Jason Flett , crew members Amy Allan, A J Morgan, Martyn Runcie and Declan Sutherland aboard, took part in an intensive full scale search of the area from Kinnaird Head to Troup Head.
Within minutes of being paged Fraserburgh RNLI's lifeboat with Duty Coxswain Dave Sutherland, mechanic Jason Flett , and RNLI volunteer crew members Amy Allan, A J Morgan, Martyn Runcie and Declan Sutherland aboard, took part in an intensive full scale search of the area from Kinnaird Head to Troup Head.
Because of the stormy conditions and the high seas which were running the coastguard also tasked Macduff Lifeboat and Peterhead lifeboat to assist in the search.
MacDuff Lifeboat searched between Gamrie and Troup Head.
Peterhead Lifeboat searched the area between Rattray Head and Kinnaird Head.
The local Coastguard team and Coastguard helicopter were also involved.
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 Lifeboat returned to station where it was washed down and refuelled and made ready for its next service.
Fraserburgh RNLI Duty Coxswain David Sutherland said: ‘We’re always 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 along with the Coastguard helicopter. Although it seems as though the emergency device was accidentally activated we would always much rather launch the lifeboat 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 that 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 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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