Coastguard emergencies disrupted by youths’ misuse of radio frequency
Irresponsible youths hampered attempts by coastguard officers to co-ordinate two emergencies by causing havoc on an emergency radio frequency.
Police had to be contacted after the youngsters in the south mainland persistently misused the emergency frequency on VHF Channel 16, repeatedly dishing out verbal abuse to MCA staff.
The Sumburgh-based helicopter was scrambled shortly before 2pm today after a fire started in the engine room of the fishing boat Fairway, just off Whalsay.
The Lerwick lifeboat also rushed to the scene but the crew of Fairway managed to get the fire under control. They were escorted back to Lerwick. No-one onboard the vessel suffered from any injuries as a result of the fire.
The helicopter was stood down, but was scrambled again after a woman onboard the diving support vessel Valkyrie, which was just off Yell, suffered from a crushed hand. She was airlifted to the emergency landing pad at Clickimin in Lerwick before being taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital.
The MCA said the rescues were hampered by youngsters fooling around on VHF. They also became abusive after being asked to stop. A spokeswoman said they had been “messing around” and “speaking over it” during the afternoon.
She said: “We broadcast out to them a couple of times and asked them to stop, and got some rather rude replies. We ended up saying we were in the middle of an incident and that seemed to scare them.”
A spokesman for Northern Constabulary confirmed that the police had been made aware of the incident.