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Illuminating flares used in Margate coastal search

RNLI Margate

Search and rescue teams sent up illuminating flares after reported cries for help at Margate Habour.

UK Coastguard initially received a 999 call from a member of the public at around 5am one morning in March, who heard the cries.

A major search began involving Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat, the Coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd airport, Coastguard rescue teams from Margate and Herne Bay and units from Kent Police.

Parachute illuminating flares and the helicopter’s FLIR (forward looking infra-red) camera were deployed to search the area.

All that was found was one item of clothing, so the search was extended to include the coast between St Mildred’s Bay Westgate and Winter Gardens to the east.

After a further 90-minute search in better light, nothing more was found and the search was called off. The incident was viewed as a false alarm with good intent.

Nick Smith, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI says, “We are grateful for the report and particularly that the first informant remained on scene until the arrival of coastguard officers. If anyone sees or hears anything unusual on the coast or at sea, they should dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”

The image is of Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat Alfred Alexander Staden and is courtesy of Margate RNLI.

Mar 17, 2020