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Lifeboats called out following distress flare report

Longhope Lifeboat.

Lifeboats from Longhope and Wick were called out to search off Caithness last night.

Longhope RNLI volunteer crew were paged at 10pm having been requested by the UK Coastguard to attend near Duncansby Head after reports of red flares seen in the area.

All weather lifeboat, Helen Comrie, was quickly launched and proceeded towards Gills Bay where a search commenced. Wick lifeboat was launched almost simultaneously and began a search from the south of Duncansby Head, eventually joining the Helen Comrie in the waters south of Stroma.

Sea conditions and visibility were good and the search was assisted by a shuttle tanker passing through the Pentland Firth at the same time.

The lifeboats did not find any evidence of vessels or anyone  in distress but, at the request of the Coastguard, broadened their search, with Longhope crew scouring the eastern shores of Stroma before being stood down at 11.32pm.

The Helen Comrie then quickly returned to station at Longhope, refuelled and made ready for service once again.

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