SMOKE GRENADE FALSE ALARM CALLS-OUT BOTH PENARTH LIFEBOATS

With the light failing and the temperature dropping the Penarth lifeboat Maunreen Lilian heads out to investigate the distress signal at Lavernock

With the light failing and the temperature dropping the Penarth lifeboat Maureen Lilian heads out to investigate the distress signal at Lavernock

Red distress smoke-flares which had been deliberately set-off on the shore at Lavernock Point triggered a two-boat call-out for Penarth lifeboat crews last night.

The smoke flares  – the international signal for a vessel in distress in daylight – were spotted at 17:30 and immediately HM Coastguard at Milford Haven tasked both Penarth lifeboats to launch and attend the scene.

Penarth Coastguard officers found the remains of several fired smoke grenades at Lavernock

Penarth Coastguard officers found the remains of several fired smoke grenades at Lavernock. The distinctive red smoke has stained the cliff face

Meanwhile a Penarth Coastguard team headed to the scene to undertake a shore search on foot along the beach.

The coastguard officers found a number of recently-fired smoke flares and spotted “a number of people” who left the scene  before officers could speak to them.

A Penarth Coastguard officer meets up with a Penarth lifeboat crew member at Lavernock Point where the smoke grenades were found

A Penarth Coastguard officer meets up with a Penarth lifeboat crew member at Lavernock Point where the smoke grenades were found

Penarth Coastguard said the incident smoke flares could have been fired because the people on the beach may have thought they had been cut off by the tide – but as they all disappeared as soon as the coastguard team and the lifeboats arrived – and  didn’t need rescuing –  it’s thought the firing of the grenades could have been a malicious false alarm.

Jason Dunlop holds a number of awards for his lifeboat service

Penarth Lifeboat Operations Manager Jason Dunlop

The Penarth Lifeboat Operations Manager Jason Dunlop said today  “RNLI volunteer crew members will respond to any request to help those in trouble at sea. However, during situations like this when the coastguard requests a lifeboat to launch, it uses volunteers’ time, which they selflessly give to help those in trouble. It costs the charity valuable funds, which could be better used elsewhere. A false call can take lifesaving resources away from a real emergency.”

Some of the discharged smoke grenades retrieved by Penath Coastguard last night

Some of the discharged smoke grenades retrieved by Penarth Coastguard last night

Mr Dunlop said ‘We would urge people to use flares for the purpose they were intended – to signal distress. Today’s incident resulted in two lifeboats being launched, involving 15 RNLI volunteers.  Our resources were committed for approximately two hours which in turn could have limited our ability to respond to further emergency calls.’

The incident was the third call-out in three days for the Penarth lifeboat crews.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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One Response to SMOKE GRENADE FALSE ALARM CALLS-OUT BOTH PENARTH LIFEBOATS

  1. The culprits responsible for these hoax incidents are totally irresponsible. Putting brave volunteers at risk of losing their lives is unforgivable. I hope the general public can be more vigilant in bringing them to justice.

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