Hoax call arrest after RNLI search for missing swimmer

PUBLISHED: 09:06 19 October 2015 | UPDATED: 09:06 19 October 2015

The RNLI carried out an hour-long search.

The RNLI carried out an hour-long search.

Archant

A MAN has been arrested for a ‘malicious hoax’ in which the RNLI and rescue helicopter were called out to reports of a missing swimmer.

A member of the public reported at around 11.18pm on Saturday that he had been swimming with a friend who had not returned to the shore.

Weston-super-Mare’s RNLI crew launched two lifeboats seven minutes later.

The RNLI was joined in its search by the rescue helicopter from St Athan.

The crews searched for just over an hour, until receiving a report from Avon and Somerset Constabulary that the report was 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.”

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