Cleveland RAYNET Group

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The Coastguard telephoned the Cleveland RAYNET Group Controller one evening at 19:38 hrs in connection with an emergency incident.

A CB station in Seaham (name and telephone number given) had reported a vessel in distress calling on CB channel 9.  Two lifeboats and a helicopter were currently searching for it.  The vessel location was given as 6 miles off Redcar coast.  Could RAYNET go on CB channel 9 with coverage to the claimed vessel in distress?  Very probably.  Will call back.

At 19:41 hrs, a RAYNET member was contacted and asked to monitor and call on channel 9 straight away. He lives on a hill overlooking the coast above Redcar and has good radio coverage of the search area.

Another RAYNET member was contacted at 19:44 hrs .  He doesn't live near the coast, but has a good radio coverage area.  Had he got a CB radio?  No.  Could he monitor CB channel 9?  Yes, if he knew what channel 9 was when expressed as a frequency.  He agreed to look it up in a book and report back on the RAYNET callout channel.

The first RAYNET member appeared on the callout channel at 19:48 hrs.  He had heard nothing on channel 9 so far.  He had three spare CB rigs available if there was a use for them.  All had batteries charged and an aerial available for car use.

The RAYNET Controller telephoned the Coastguard at 19:56 hrs and gave an update.  They asked for the location of the two RAYNET operators who were checking CB.  The Coastguard were treating the situation seriously as daylight was limited.  They were now using four lifeboats and a helicopter.

At 20:00 hrs the inland RAYNET operator could hear three voices on CB channel 9.  They were not audible on the coast.

The RAYNET Zonal Co-ordinator was contacted at 20:05 hrs and a situation report given.

Not knowing who else used CB, a full RAYNET group callout was done at 20:14 hrs.  The answer turned out to be that only one other RAYNET member dabbled with CB radio.  He was sent to a cliff area to supplement the radio coverage of the coast near Redcar.

The Coastguard called back at 20:40 hrs and gave the details of the emergency frequencies they were using to co-ordinate the search.

Nothing was heard on CB channel 9 or any other CB channel concerning a vessel in distress.  The Coastguard gave a stand down order at 21:12 hrs.  No vessel had been reported overdue and it was too dark to continue a reliable search over a larger area.  The four lifeboats and the helicopter were all searching back towards their bases now.  If more information should arrive supporting the authenticity of the reported distress call then the search would start again.  The Coastguard thanked RAYNET for its assistance.

The RAYNET callout network was closed down at 21:14 hrs.  One member said that we didn't have much of a CB capability.  True, but we're not a CB group.

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Page updated on 09 January 2017

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