The coxswain of Bridlington’s Lifeboat has voiced his anger after volunteer crew members were mobilised over a hoax emergency call.
On Sunday 5 December three volunteer lifeboat men conducted a thorough search for a person reported to be drowning in the sea near The Spa Bridlington.
However the crew were called off after quarter of an hour and the hoax call was traced by police to Goole, according to Stuart Tibbett volunteer coxswain for Bridlington RNLI.
Mr Tibbett said: “It makes me angry because it is a waste of resources and it is pulling people away from something that could be happening elsewhere.
“They were already at sea on a training exercise which helped, but if we had been at home it would have meant people would have had to drive down, leave their families and then launch the boat and that would have been extra cost.
“But it is not just the cost factor, it is that these people are putting lives at risk.”
At around 11am the Humber Coastguard alerted the RNLI for an immediate response to the incident. The crew, led by helmsman Ady Trower, with Matt Mason and Ashley Traves, searched the area and Bridlington harbour before the emergency was called off.
The hoax follows members of Bridlington’s lifeboat crew were called to help the dramatic rescue of passengers on the MS King Seaways ferry when a fire broke out in one of the cabins.
The Marine Engineer and her six man crew attended the ferry 30 miles off Flamborough Head on Saturday 28 December.
The recent stormy weather conditions mean Bridlington’s lifeboat crew are needed to be on standby now more than ever to respond to real emergencies at sea.
Mr Tibbett said: “We have been lucky, we responded to incidents at the harbour when it was flooded.
“It was relatively calm yesterday but if it had happened on Saturday it would have been a different story.
“Hoax callers are putting the crew’s lives at risk and pulling them away from their families.
“We are a charity so it is also wasting people’s donations.
“But we always respond, it is what we are there for.”
A new lifeboat is due for the team in 2017 and a new boathouse is expected to be built.
However it is as yet unknown when and where it will be located.
Photographs by Sean Stewart.