Posted: Thu 30th Jan 2020

Rescuers respond to reports of a person in the River Dee but think it could have been a seal

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jan 30th, 2020


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Volunteer rescue officers from Flint Coastguard along with Flint RNLI Lifeboat were called on Wednesday afternoon to reports of a person in the River Dee near Saltney Ferry footbridge.

The 999 call came in at around 3.30pm, Wirral Coastguard rescue officers were also scrambled to assist colleagues at the scene.

Due to the ebbing tide, emergency services decided to concentrate the search between the Saltney Ferry Bridge and the Blue Bridge, Queensferry.

The police helicopter based at nearby Hawarden airfield was brought in to search the river and surrounding area but nothing was found.

A Flint Coastguard spokesman said that it, “became apparent the first 999 caller had witnessed a man walking on the bank but when she looked up couldn’t see him but did spot a object in the water raising concern.”

A seal had been seen in the area at the same time and speaking to other members of the public did look like a person.” The spokesperson said. 

There has been a number of sightings of seals in the River Dee around Flintshire in the past few weeks. 

The video below was shot last week in Saltney.

“Holyhead Coastguard Operations Centre were happy this was a call with good intent and with all searches conducted and with nothing found, it was believed the seal was what the first caller had seen as it remained in the area for some time during the search.” Flint Coastguard added. 

[RNLI Flint launching from Dock Road in Connah’s Quay on Wednesday afternoon]

Bill Dewsbury, Flint RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said:

“The d-class inshore lifeboat was tasked alongside members of both Flint Coastguard Rescue Team and Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team to carry out a search of coastline and river.

After a thorough search by all and nothing found all units were stood down.

We thank the member of the public for reporting their concerns to 999, if you ever see anything or anyone in trouble in the water please don’t hesitate to call 999 and ask for the coastguard”

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