Man jailed for wasting police time after search for missing swimmer

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse - Credit: 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’.


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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.”

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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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