Posted: Sun 4th Mar 2018

Coastguard callout after red distress flares spotted in sky near Flintshire Bridge

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Mar 4th, 2018

A volunteer Coastguard rescue team from Flint were scrambled just before 5.30pm today, Sunday March 4 following reports that two red flares had been seen in the sky near Flintshire Bridge.

The Flint team were tasked to the area after the Holyhead Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) received two 999 calls and a report from Police that red distress flares had been seen above land in Connah’s Quay close to the bridge.

Once the team were on scene they carried out a thorough search from the Flintshire Bridge towards the Hawarden Railway Bridge on both sides of the River Dee.

A spokesperson for Flint Coastguard said:

“Whilst speaking to members of the public walking towards the area it was confirmed they had also seen the same as the two first informants, but Holyhead CGOC happy no one was in need of assistance and as a result team stood down and returned to base.”

During the search officers did come across two kids on a quad bike stuck on the riverbank in soft mud near to the bridge, “they were assisted back to harder ground and quad bike recovered” the spokesperson said, the rescue team went on to continue with the search until they were stood down.

The use of red distress flares indicates that there is a grave and imminent danger to life or a vessel and should only be used in an emergency situation.

Because of the nature of red flares and what they mean, it is illegal to fire or ignite any red flare either out on the water or along the coastline to avoid calling out emergency services for no reason.

A week last Friday Coastguard volunteers from Flint were scrambled after the words MAYDAY were heard on a marine VHF radio channel designated as an international distress frequency.

The Mayday message, which is an internationally used voice alert to signal a life-threatening emergency, was picked up by the Moel-Y-Parc radio mast in the Clwydian Range.

The team were called out to search the River Dee from Flintshire Bridge along the coast towards Talacre Beach looking for signs of anyone in difficulty but nothing was found and the MAYDAY call was thought to be a hoax.

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