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Emergency services attended the scene of a possible plane crash only to find out it was one huge mistake.
The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade was alerted to a possible issue when an Emergency Position-Indicating Radiobeacon went off in the Marsden area.
The beacon is usually only activated when an air plane, vessel or person is in need of immediate, lifesaving rescue.
The rescuers arrived to the location just to the south of the River Tyne at around 4.46pm on Tuesday, May 17.
Having spent time searching the area to find the cause of the distress beacon, they found nothing.
But the mystery was solved soon after when it turned out that someone had activated a beacon by mistake – in their home garage.
The group immediately stopped looking and went back to their station.
A spokesman said: “The team were tasked by Humber Coastguard to reports of an EPIRB activation south of the river Tyne. Supporting Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat the team conducted a coastal search to try to get eyes on any persons or vessels in distress.
“After a short while we received word that the EPIRB had been accidentally activated in someone's garage in the Marsden area. Following on from this information the team stood down and returned to station.
“An emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) is a type of emergency locator beacon, a portable, battery-powered radio transmitter used in emergencies to locate airplanes, vessels, and persons in distress and in need of immediate rescue.
“Remember for all coastal emergencies dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”
The group was founded in 1866, and is entirely volunteer-led in its work supporting HM Coastguard in the South Tyneside area.
They were awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours list, and was also praised for work it did in the local area during the pandemic.
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