22nd July 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

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.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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2 comments

  1. Joe johnson

    What a disgrace! Those kids should be ashamed of themselves, messing around on the emergency frequency could have cost lives.

    Reply
  2. Just like to say to these idiots how would they if it was their relatives being rescued by coast Guards and their behaving in this manner, was disrupting this,the men and women of the above service provide an invaluable service and deserve the utmost respect! Shame on these idiots.

    Reply

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