Newhaven rescue teams have issued a warning about the dangers of prank calls after receiving a hoax mayday on Monday afternoon (August 3).
The Newhaven Lifeboat crew was launched at 3.15pm after HM Coastguards received a distressed call from a sinking vessel between Newhaven and Saltdean.
The lifeboat’s salvage pump was primed and the inflatable Y-boat was made ready on route.
Newhaven lifeboat searched from the west breakwater at Newhaven through to Rottingdean and back at different distances from the shore line.
During the search there was no sign of any vessel in distress. The lifeboat used it’s radar to search for other vessels in the area which were all fine.
The lifeboat was assisted by HM Coastguard rescue helicopter R104, which carried out a comprehensive search up to 4.5 nautical miles from the coastline and nothing unusual was found.
Newhaven returned to station at 4:30pm and was ready for service shortly afterwards.
Coastguard and Newhaven Lifeboat tried to get a fix on the distress signal, which was thought to have come from ashore in the Peacehaven area.
An identical hoax had taken place on June 15, which had tied up both the lifeboat and HM Coastguard rescue helicopter 104 for three hours on that occasion.
Newhaven lifeboat Coxswain Paul Legendre said: “This type of hoax could one day result in somebody losing their life if we are diverted to a hoax when a real distress call occurs in the opposite direction.
“If anyone knows anything about this hoax or the other hoax on 15th June then please contact either Solent or Dover HM Coastguards.”
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