Mix-up over holidaymaker’s whereabouts triggers major search and rescue operation

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A mix-up among holiday guests sparked a major search and rescue operation in the middle of the night, with the coastguard helicopter, Lerwick lifeboat and a coastal search team called out to look for a woman who had been declared missing.

However the 72-year-old, from Yorkshire, was simply in a different room at the Islesburgh Youth Hostel from the one her companions thought she was in. A police spokesman blamed a “break down in communication between travelling companions” for the hunt being launched.

Police received a report that the woman was missing in the early hours of the morning and immediately launched a missing person search, with emergency services looking along the stretch of coastline from Ness of Sound to Dales Voe. However the woman was found safe and well at around 6am.

A police spokesman said: ” A report was received by Lerwick Police regarding a missing person from Islesburgh House, Lerwick. Enquiries were commenced and a missing person search was carried out by police, coastguard, a coastal search team, Lerwick lifeboat and a rescue helicopter.

“Following enquiry the missing person, a 72-year-old female from Yorkshire on holiday in Shetland, was found safe and well.

“It would appear a break down in communication between travelling companions had resulted in the missing person spending the night in a different room from that allocated to her.”


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