RNLI chief’s anger at ‘malicious’ hoax caller in Hartlepool

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A LIFESAVING service boss has slammed a hoaxer who potentially put lives at risk by making a fake emergency call to the coastguard that a canoe was in difficulty off Hartlepool.

A crew from Hartlepool’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and one from Durham scrambled to what they believed was an emergency situation off the town’s Middleton Pier.

The bogus incident was reported to HM Coastguard around 8.15pm on Wednesday, September 3, and officials orchestrated the rescue mission with the RNLI crews.

Hartlepool RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager Mike Craddy today confirmed it had been a “malicious hoax” and expressed his disappointment.

He said: “I am extremely disappointed at this waste of resources that has not only put others at risk but tied up valuable assets that could have been needed elsewhere in a real emergency”.

Two men were arrested by officers from Cleveland Police following the incident.