RNLI volunteers from Aberystwyth and New Quay launched into the dark on Friday (Nov 11) at 8pm to carry out a search after multiple red distress flare sightings had been reported.
The RNLI lifeboats were asked to carry out the search by The UK Coastguard who had received numerous sightings of the flare just off Aberystwyth. The Aberystwyth Coastguard Rescue Team volunteers were also tasked to carry out a shoreline search.
Aberystwyth RNLI’s Atlantic 85 class lifeboat Spirit of Friendship was quickly on scene and fired a number of white flares to illuminate the area and coastline whilst carrying out a search pattern.
New Quay RNLI’s all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge made its way to Aberystwyth where it joined the search further out to sea, carrying out a complimentary search pattern. The two lifeboats were also assisted by the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon.
With deteriorating weather conditions and nearly three hours of searching, utilising night vision equipment, radar, infra-red and powerful search lights and with nothing found, the decision was made to call off the search as a false alarm with good intent.
New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Roger Couch said: “The New Quay crew were pleased we could provide support to Aberystwyth in this search, especially new crew member Oliver Edwards who was on his first ‘shout.'”
Paul Williams, volunteer Helm from Aberystwyth RNLI said: “We would always urge people to call the coastguard if they see a flare or any distress signal out at sea and if people have old flares they don’t want, we would ask them to dispose of them safely.’