Last Monday night at 21:22 the volunteer crew of Dunbar were paged by Aberdeen coastguard after they had received a 999 call from a member of the public informing them that a red flare had been spotted just off Dunbars East beach.
After the crew had assembled at the station is was then decided to launch both lifeboats to search the area in which the flare had been spotted. The inshore lifeboat crew quickly got the boat in the water while the crew of the all weather lifeboat made the 6.6 mile journey by station land rover to Torness. Once the inshore lifeboat was ready, they conducted a shore line search from the back of the harbour towards the east beach as Aberdeen coastguard had some information that a fishing vessels AIS (Automatic identification system) pinged its location to be just off the east beach. In the mean time the all weather lifeboat searched from Whitesands towards the harbour 1 mile off. Both Lifeboats used white parachute flares to illuminate the area in which they were looking,along with the help of hand held search lights.
After a thorough search of the whole area by both lifeboats and the confirmation that the possible location of the fishing vessel was confirmed to be in the harbour safe and well, both lifeboats were stood down. It was believed the sighting of the flare could have come from a group a people having a small fire in the area of the battery but this could not be confirmed.
If you ever see a flare at sea always call 999 and ask for the coastguard.
Both lifeboats were refuelled and made ready for service a short time after.