Lifeboat crew condemns hoax caller who triggered two-and-a-half hour search and rescue operation in Great Yarmouth

RNLI Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat. Picture: James Bass.

RNLI Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat. Picture: James Bass. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A search and rescue operation which lasted for more than two and a half hours last night turned out to be a hoax call.

The Great Yarmouth and Gorleston inshore lifeboat was launched at just after 9pm to reports of a possible person in the water near Haven Bridge.

A Putford rescue boat, Gorleston mobile rescue unit, Hemsby inshore lifeboat and a coastguard helicopter were all despatched to search for the person. After an extensive search of the whole area around Breydon Water, which lasted for two-and-a-half hours, nothing was found and the Humber Coastguard called off the search.

It is believed to have been a hoax call, made maliciously.

Senior helmsman Alan Churchman said: 'This is a serious drain on resources and on personnel in the area. Not to mention that, if there had been a real incident during this time, all our assets would have been taken up with this hoax call.'

He said, if anybody had any information about the identity of the hoax caller, they should call Norfolk police on 101.

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