First launch for Blyth’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat following several 999 calls over fears of a person in difficulty half a mile out to sea from Seaton Sluice.

Members of the public on both the beach to the north of Seaton Sluice and from a higher vantage point near the Kings Arms pub called the coastguard on 999 after they were told of a person swimming out to sea to rescue a dog, by the time the calls were made the person was reported to be half a mile off shore and in difficulty.

Blyth’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat was launched with three volunteer crew members on-board and made its way just over three miles south towards Seaton Sluice and upon arrival commenced a search of the areain 2m plus waves.

Also proceeding by road was the Blyth Coastguard Rescue Team who after speaking to members of the public on the beach were able to estsablish that there was nobody in difficulty and the original report was a case of mistaken identiy of a surfer.

Even though on this occasion it turned out that nobody was in distress, members of the public should be reminded that if they see anyone who they think maybe in diffuiculty around the coast, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Dog owners are also urged to ‘Respect The Water’ if they find their own dog swimming out to sea, bear in mind that over half of the people who drown around the coastof the uk each year did not even intend to enter the water, so dial 999 and ask for the coastguard rather than putting yourself in danger.

RNLI Blyth’s volunteer lifeboat helmsman Graham Short who lead the search said that he thought this call out, the first time the newly stationed Atlantic 75 lifeboat had been launched on service from Blyth ‘went well’ and he noted that all of the extra hours put in by the team at Blyth were ‘starting to pay off”.
Graham also went on to say that he’d ‘much rather someone called the coastguard on 999 and it turned out to be a false alarm than not act and we end up not being able to save someone’