While all of the community was Shining a Light in Support of our Frontline Workers, Arklow RNLI’s Volunteers were making their way to the Lifeboat Station.
Following reports of a distress Flare being sighted off the coast of Arklow, pagers were activated and within a few minutes the all weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr was launched and underway.
Initial reports suggested the sighting was South of Arklow, the Lifeboat proceeded on a southerly track. With a number of fishing vessels working in the area our crew checked with them if they had launched the flare and were in distress, none had but they reported a sighting further North.
In black dark night time conditions Arklow Lifeboat proceeded on a track North with full beam searchlights and all hands searching the darkness.
With nothing yet located it was decided to deploy 2 White Illumination Flares to aid in location of any potential casualty vessel or persons.
Later in the search the crew were joined by Rescue 117, the Irish Coastguard Search & Rescue Helicopter from Waterford, who had been on scene at an incident in Wexford Harbour immediately prior to joining the Arklow search, Coastguard Shore Crews from Arklow & Courtown also joined the search on the land.
Following a lengthy search by all involved and with nothing located the search was stood down and all hands came ashore safely.
Following the search, Mark Corcoran- Arklow RNLI Press Officer & Community Safety Officer said
“As always our volunteers responded quickly to the reported flare sighting, I’d like to pay tribute to all who responded and were involved in this search. Despite the current restrictions, all of our volunteers are continuing to put themselves on the front-line and putting others first.
This sighting may have been a Chinese Lantern or indeed someone letting off a flare in good faith and while this would have been done with good intent, we would ask people to refrain from this to avoid further false alarms and the need for our volunteers to be put at risk.
If you do spot a flare or see someone in the water or in danger, please call 999 or 112 and ask for Coastguard who will in turn activate us or the appropriate asset.
Well done to all involved and we hope everybody is staying safe during this difficult period for all of us”