check safety equipment fishing vessel

Lerwick RNLI urges fishing vessel owners to check the safety equipment. Photo credit RNLI/Nigel Millard

Boat owners and skipper have been advised to check the safety equipment onboard their fishing vessels in order to ensure that it is serviced and secured correctly.

The request comes from Lerwick RNLI and the Shetland Fishermen’s Association after the Lerwick RNLI Lifeboat crew were called out on a false alarm yesterday, Tuesday 17 January 2023.

The Lerwick RNLI volunteers were called out just before 11.45am to a report of an emergency beacon activated 20 nautical miles southeast of Unst.

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The Severn-class lifeboat launched within ten minutes of the crew being paged and immediately headed north from Lerwick harbour. When activated, a signal from an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) normally indicates that a vessel or persons are in distress.

However, soon after launch the Coastguard notified the crew that the EPIRB was a false alarm and the vessel to which the beacon was registered was actually safe and well. The lifeboat returned to harbour at 12.15pm to return to station and refuel.

Stephen Manson, Coxswain of Lerwick Lifeboat said:

“Our volunteer crew are always ready to respond to any call to launch and we’re glad that there was no-one in distress on this occasion.

“Emergency beacons can quickly direct a search and rescue operation to the exact location of any incident. We’d encourage any boat owners to check the service status and registration details of any beacons on board. And if they don’t have a beacon, they should consider getting one – emergency beacons at sea can save lives.”

The RNLI has information on “how to call for help at sea” including details of EPIRBs and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) at: https://rnli.org/safety/how-to-call-for-help-at-sea

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Source: Press Release

Lerwick RNLI urges fishing vessel owners to check safety equipment

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