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Full-scale sea search was a false alarm.

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat launched this morning in response to an activated emergency beacon.

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat launched this morning on service, heading up Longhope Bay.

RNLI/Mary Harris

RNLI Longhope Lifeboat launched this morning on service

RNLI Longhope lifeboat was requested to launch this morning at 06.14 by UK Coastguard. They were tasked to search for a emergency position indicating radio beacon – EPIRB that had been activated and it's signal picked up by UK Coastguard.

The signal received indicated a rather vague area covering the Hoy Sound, Burra Sound and waters around Graemsay and Stromness. Both Longhope and Stromness lifeboats searched these areas along with the Hoy, Stromness and Kirkwall local Coastguards searching the shores.

UK Coastguard helicopter Rescue 900 also joined in the search and managed to pinpoint the beacon signal to a shed in Stromness where it had accidentally been activated.

The lifeboats were stood down and returned to stations.

Conditions at sea were very good and the event clearly illustrated the benefits, when used correctly, of vessels carrying an EPIRB, and the rapid response from the emergency services when the device is activated.

Longhope lifeboat was back at station and refuelled by 10.00.


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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 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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