Man jailed for wasting police time after search for missing swimmer

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 October 2015

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse

Archant

A MAN has been jailed for three months for lying to police, raising a false alert which saw the RNLI search for a ‘missing’ swimmer for more than an hour.

Kyle Farr, aged 29, was jailed by magistrates on Monday for wasting police time by giving a false report.

The Coastguard was called at around 11.18pm on Saturday about a swimmer who had not returned to Weston-super-Mare’s beach.

Weston RNLI launched a lifeboat seven minutes later, and was joined in the search by a rescue helicopter from St Athan.

The crews searched for just over an hour, until being informed by Avon and Somerset Constabulary that the report had been a ‘malicious hoax’.

Weston RNLI helmsman Mark Frost said: “This was a huge search effort from multi agencies which could have been avoided.

“However should anyone spot a person in danger in the water contact the Coastguard on 999 and give clear factual report of the situation that they are witnessing.”

Farr, who lives in Spring Meadows in Trowbridge, appeared at North Somerset Courthouse.

Magistrates said they decided to jail him because there was a significant use of public services and wasted time.

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