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Hoax call sparks search by Hartlepool RNLI lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers were paged at 3.57pm by Humber Coastguard on Sunday 3rd July 2022 to a report of a swimmer in difficulty off the Sandy Car Park at Seaton Carew.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Hartlepool RNLI all weather lifeboat 'Betty Huntbatch' assisted by a Pilot boat during the search off Seaton Carew on Sunday afternoon. Pic by Tom Collins.

The inshore lifeboat launched at 4.07pm followed shortly afterwards by the all weather lifeboat.

A thorough search of the area was made by both lifeboats and several other vessels that also joined the search.

Sea conditions at the time were described as calm with excellent visibility.

At 5.48pm both lifeboats were stood down by Humber Coastguard and returned to the Ferry Road boathouse where they were refuelled and made ready for service by 6.20pm

Hartlepool RNLI Coxswain Robbie Maiden said 'RNLI volunteer crew members will respond to any request to help those in trouble at sea. However, when a false 999 or 112 call is made and the coastguard request a lifeboat to launch, it uses volunteers’ time, which they selflessly give to help those in trouble.

'A false call can take lifesaving resources away from a real emergency.

'On a positive note, I would like to praise the skippers of several other vessels in the area that took part in the search which was very much appreciated.'

RNLI/Tom Collins

Hartlepool RNLI all weather lifeboat 'Betty Huntbatch'(centre) assisted by other vessels during the search off Seaton Carew on Sunday afternoon. Pic by Tom Collins.

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.