Man charged after distress flares set off at Inverallochy

A man has been charged following flares being set off which resulted in a Fraserburgh RNLI lifeboat crew spending three hours at sea in response to a hoax call-out.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 9:06 am
Updated Friday, 5th February 2021, 9:33 am
The Fraserburgh RNLI lifeboat was launched on Monday night after distress flares were reported, but it turned out to be a hoax call. (Photo: Broch Photo House)

Police Scotland said it had charged a 24-year-old man in connection with culpable and reckless conduct after distress flares were deliberately set off near Inverallochy.Sergeant Iain Fraser, of Fraserburgh Police Station, said: "The flares were seen in the Cairnbulg and Inverallochy area around 6pm on Monday, February 1, which resulted in a significant search involving Police Scotland, the HM Coastguard helicopter and the Fraserburgh Lifeboat.

“The man has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal following the incident."

Following the call-out on Monday night, Coxswain Vic Sutherland wrote on the Fraserburgh RNLI Facebook page: “We would like to make everyone aware that it is a criminal offence to set a distress rocket/flare off, other than in a genuine emergency.

“When the rescue services are called out needlessly people’s lives are put at risk and we would ask anyone with out of date distress flares to dispose of them responsibly.

“We’d also like to thank everyone who phoned the coastguard to report the flares.

"When vessels and people are in distress at sea, time is of the essence and the quicker the emergency services are alerted then the more chance we have of getting there in time.

"I would urge everyone to phone the coastguard if they ever see a flare going off, as it may be enough to save people’s lives.”