AT 11:40 on Thursday (March 2) UK Coastguard paged the Volunteer Crew’s of the Loughor Inshore Rescue Lifeboat along with coastguard Search and Rescue teams from Loughor and Bury Port after receiving reports that a vessel was in difficulty within the Loughor Estuary. Crews responded to the scene in order to conduct a search for the vessel and recover them to a place of safety.
The initial phone call was made from a withheld telephone number to the Loughor Boating Club, where a member of staff immediately contacted the UK Coastguard on 999 to inform them of the phone call.
The tide was outgoing therefore the smaller secondary flood rescue boat was deployed with two crew members on-board. Shortly after launching, the boat struck a submerged object causing the engine failure with significant damage putting that boat out of service. The cost to repair almost matches the cost of a new engine.
Following extensive search of the area by the two Coastguard units from high and low points around the estuary. No boat or persons in danger were located and all crews subsequently returned back to their station for de-brief.
A spokesperson for the Loughor Lifeboat said: “The Lifeboat at Loughor is an Independent Lifeboat funded by the local Community through collection days, fundraising events and as a result of the goodwill of the public, local schools and collection tins. We are not funded by the RNLI . Hoax calls can cause vital services to be falsely diverted away, preventing them from attending a real emergency to help a person in their time of distress or need.”
They continued, “It is very frustrating for crew members who give up their time to attend emergency calls and to those employers who kindly allow their staff to respond and the cost to them not knowing a false alarm has been made by a Hoax call.”
Loughor Inshore rescue fully supports the investigation into finding those responsible.