HOAX CALL CAUSES RESCUE CHAOS
Monday July 6th, 2009
A suspected hoax call caused chaos for emergency services in the Shetland Isles. At 3pm on 6th July a female voice was heard on distress channel 16 claiming she needed immediate help. Shetland Coastguard launched an intensive air and sea search utilizing the R102 helicopter and the Aith RNLI lifeboat along with two pilot boats and numerous private vessels.
Katrina Hampson of Shetland Coastguard Watch had this to say of the incident, ‘We have listened to the tape of the call several times, slowed it right down and increased the volume. In the background a couple of seconds before the part that we initially heard you can hear a child’s voice saying mayday, mayday. It now seems likely that this was child playing around with a radio, rather than a real mayday call… Please can we urge parents to closely supervise their children on board boats and around marine radios. This search cost tens of thousands of pounds and could have taken valuable resources away from someone who really needed them.’
With UK sailing’s busiest time of the year approaching Harbourguides hope that parents will be vigilant in carrying out these requests.
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