RNLI warning to ring 999 in an emergency

PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 July 2015

Kevin Riley

Kevin Riley


People who get into trouble at sea are being urged to call the coastguard direct instead of the lifeboat station.

The message comes because Exmouth RNLI has recently received a number of emergency calls direct to the station.

Although volunteers were on hand to respond to the distress calls, the RNLI has warned Exmouth’s station is not manned all the time.

Lifeboat operations manager Kevin Riley (pictured) said: “We encourage the use of VHF radios at sea. A call from a radio will go direct to the coastguard and other boats in the area may hear and respond.

“VHF calls can assist in finding the casualty more accurately by using the direction-finding facility. Mobiles don’t always work at sea.”

RNLI lifeboats were called out twice recently after people made calls to the station.

Lifeboat volunteers were tasked to rescue a broken down powerboat heading towards rocks at Straight Point. A fishing trawler, taking on water in the Exe, was rescued by lifeboat crew.

Exmouth RNLI said calling the emergency services would result in the coastguard sending the appropriate team. Mr Riley said: “The 999 call will go through to professionally-trained search and rescue decision makers.”

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