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EagleEye
13th March 2003, 15:05
Here's a good one...........

Sea rescue ends at council tip


An RAF crewman was lowered into the refuse depot
Coastguards called off an air-sea rescue operation on Wednesday night when an RAF crew found a ship's distress beacon transmitting from a council rubbish skip.
The helicopter joined the search when the device started to send out signals indicating a ship was in serious trouble off the Kent coast.

The beacons are designed to start transmitting automatically when a vessel sinks.

Inquiries are now under way into how the beacon, belonging to a ship moored off Italy, came to be in a refuse depot at Deal.

We would like to know who could have been so irresponsible as to throw this thing away
Rick Philips, RAF Kinloss

The RAF crew used night-vision goggles to locate the beacon's flashing light - in a skip locked in the dump in Southwall Road.

The helicopter, from RAF Wattisham, hovered over the skip and a winchman was lowered to deactivate the beacon and collect it for the coastguards.

Search and rescue controller at RAF Kinloss, Rick Philips, said: "The beacon was registered to the Sema B which was later found to be moored at Salerno in Italy.

"Dover Coastguard are attempting to discover how the beacon came to be in the rubbish tip in Deal.

Turkey
13th March 2003, 23:27
Funny, ha, about 20 years ago a US 688 destress buoy was netted by an Irish fishing boat in the Irish sea, seems the damn things are on a clock-work timer, and get forgotten about, apparently more then one scipper has orderd the things welded to the deck, to avoid accidental deployment.
But one from a civie ship in a dump in kent, that is odd.

Rooster
14th March 2003, 01:03
We can all see the funny side, but if this sort of technology is at least twenty years old, then one wonders if we will see a much increased occurrence of this sort of thing. And if so will/should our sar guys still react to the devices?
Also, considering Irelands coastline should'nt there be more investment into SAR craft from Dublin? its not as if Irelands forces are going to be involved in the War on terror so a better role may be to concentrate on SAR and other such missions.

Simon Jennings
15th March 2003, 16:41
EPIRBs do go off by accident all the time.
The one in the skip was probably out of date after a survey (They last 5 years) and was sent ashore.
When the terminals got wet or touched steel to form a current it would start transmitting, this kind of thing happens.
Its reassureing to know that it works.
Re age of system, COSPAR/SARSAT works, it cost a lot of money to put there and is good for a few more years.