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.


Add Your Comment
  • Joe johnson

    • July 18th, 2012 20:30

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

  • William caukwell

    • July 19th, 2012 12:01

    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.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.