Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Sunday, 5 July 2009 11:08 UK

Coastguard laments hoax SOS calls

Coastguard rescue helicopter
The coastguard said the search cost tens of thousands of pounds

Parents are being urged by Shetland coastguard to supervise their children more closely to prevent hoax mayday calls being made.

It comes after a large-scale rescue operation was mounted when a child's voice was heard calling for help on the shipping radio distress channel.

A helicopter, rescue craft and other boats searched the area near Yell Sound for two hours but found nothing.

The call, made at 1500 BST on 4 July, was later deemed to be a hoax.

Shetland Coastguard Watch Manager Katrina Hampson said the incident began when a female voice was heard on the distress and urgency channel, channel 16 saying, "We need immediate assistance".

She said: "We have listened to the tape of the call several times, slowed it right down and increased the volume. In the background a couple of seconds before the part that we initially heard you can hear a child's voice saying 'mayday, mayday'.

"It now seems likely that this was child playing around with a radio, rather than a real mayday call."

Ms Hampson added: "Please can we urge parents to closely supervise their children on board boats and around marine radios. This search cost tens of thousands of pounds and could have taken valuable resources away from someone who really needed them."

Print Sponsor

Child's voice sparks sea search
04 Jul 09 |  North East/N Isles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific