Lifeboat call out was false alarm

By Alexandra Hughes

Monday, January 11, 2016


A FALSE alarm from a personal location beacon (PLB) led to the Cowes RNLI lifeboat being launched last week.

The lifeboat was launched at 9.15am on Friday after Solent Coastguard reported the distress signal in the Cowes area.

The crew arrived at Cowes Yacht Haven where Newport coastguards had already taken possession of a PLB.

However, it was only through Solent Coastguards' tracking equipment at their Hampshire base and the lifeboat's on-board direction finder that it could be confirmed this was the beacon sending out the signal.

Why the signal went off is not known.

Cowes lifeboat operations manager Mark Southwell said: "With the growing awareness of their own safety by all mariners there is an increasing use of PLBs. It is a pleasing trend, as is the increasing use of lifejackets by people using Cowes harbour.

"The fact we have now had three false alarms from PLBs in the last three months should not be allowed to hide this very positive fact."


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