arrested by police after lifeboats called out in 'malicious hoax'
man has been arrested following a 'malicious hoax' in which lifeboat
crews were called out to Brean Down late on Saturday night (October
and Weston lifeboat crews were called out by Coastguards at 11.18pm
after a report from a member of the public who claimed to have
been swimming with a friend who appeared not to have returned
to the shore and whose clothes were still on the beach.
Weston lifeboats launched within a matter of minutes and quickly
headed to the Grand Pier area of Weston bay in poor visibility
before starting a co-ordinated search pattern around the area,
including between Knightstone Island and the north side of Brean
Down. The Coastguard helicopter Rescue 187 from St Athan also
joined the search.
then at 12.35am all the search and rescue units
were advised to stand down following an updated report from Avon
and Somerset Police which stated that the individual responsible
for the reported missing swimmer had in fact allegedly "fabricated"
the story and the incident had in fact been a "malicious
hoax". He was subsequently arrested.
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 a clear, factual report of the situation that they