RNLI lifeboat searches North Sea for hours after accidental alert

A Scottish lifeboat spent hours searching for a person in distress after after an alert was accidentally triggered for a man overboard in the North Sea.

The lifeboat searched the coast before standing down.

Peterhead RNLI Lifeboat was launched yesterday morning to assist in a search following an alert by a Digital Selective Calling (DSC) system activation for a man overboard.

The Peterhead Tamar class lifeboat RNLB The Misses Robertson of Kintail was requested to launch at 9.56am following the DSC activation.

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A DSC is a system which allows for pre-defined messages to be sent in quickness to alert rescuers to a ship or person in need.

Tasked by HM Coastguard, the volunteers at Peterhead Lifeboat urgently launched and conducted a search from Peterhead Harbour along the coastline to the south.

However, the alert was called off when it was found that the DSC had been activated by accident.

Jurgen Wahle, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Peterhead Lifeboat Station, said: “We immediately launched after the Mayday relay was overheard and we were tasked by the Coastguard Operations Room.

"The initial reports were of a possible man overboard, near Peterhead.

“We searched Peterhead Harbour and south of the coastline, due to the large number of creel boats working in the area.

“After a thorough search of the area, nothing was found and the search was stood down after it was established that it was an accidental activation.

"The Lifeboat and crew returned to berth.”

The Misses Robertson of Kintail returned to berth at 12pm, where she was refuelled and made ready for service.