Investigation after accidental activation of hand held VHF radio

Launch No: 420
Craft: Staines Whitfield. B-795
Saturday, 15 February 2020
Location: Dittisham. River Dart.

An automated Mayday call was broadcast from a hand held VHF radio using Digital Selective Calling. The Falmouth Coastguard requested RNLI Dart B class lifeboat Staines Whitfield, along with the Coastguard teams from Dartmouth and Berry Head to investigate.
The Coastguard was able to tell the crew the name and description of the vessel the radio was registered with. No such vessel was found at the broadcast position on the moorings opposite Dittisham. The area was extensively searched on the river and along the riverbanks. The Coastguard then advised the lifeboat crew to return to the broadcast position and search any boats there. A 35 ft. yacht was in the position and a crewman was put aboard. He found the radio, switched on, in the cabin. It was taken back to the lifeboat station and the battery removed in case it accidentally re-broadcast the emergency call.
The lifeboat and coastguard teams were stood down and the lifeboat crew returned to Dartmouth in the face of gathering Storm Dennis.


Request Received 12:08am
Time at incident 26 minutes
Time to recovery 1 hour, 2 minutes
Back on Service 1:20am


Sea/River State River Slight Chop
Wind Direction South-Southwest
Wind Strength 20 knots

Lifeboat Crew

Rich Eggleton (Helm)
Will Davis
Stuart Millard

Shore Crew

Caleb Brown
Karl Guess

Deputy Launch Authority

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RNLI Dart Lifeboat Station
Coronation Park
North Embankment
Devon TQ6 9RR

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