Date: Tuesday August 20 2013

Blyth Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat launched to investigate an oil slick reported off Seaton Sluice

Blyth’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by Humber Coastguard at 7:30am Tuesday August 20 2013 to investigate an oil slick seen from the air approximately one and a half miles east of Seaton Sluice.


The sighting of oil on the surface of the water had been reported to air traffic control atNewcastleby two aircraft operating out of the airport. The report was then passed to Humber Coastguard who requested the launch ofBlyth’s inshore lifeboat.

The lifeboat, with two volunteer crew onboard, reached a position one and a half miles east of Seaton Sluice within seven minutes of launching and, as nothing was immediately visible, began a search between Whitley Bay to the south and Blyth harbour to the north.

With no oil slick being found and after searching for approximately 45 minutes the lifeboat was stood down, returned to station and was made ready again for the next call by 9.15am.

The initial reason for requesting the launch ofBlythlifeboat to investigate an oil slick was a possible connection to a incident the previous evening (Monday August 19 2013). The previous incident involved Tynemouth all weather lifeboat, coastguard rescue teams and a search & rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer some 14 miles east of Blyth after a small dingy was discovered with nobody onboard.

Blyth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) John Scott said ‘It was unusual for the lifeboat to be launched following sightings from aircraft but it is good to see that both the pilots and air traffic control knew exactly where to report these sightings, to the Coastguard’.

Photo Credit – RNLIBlyth
Video Credit – RNLIBlyth