STOP THIS MADMAN; Hunt for serial lifeboat hoaxer.
Byline: HYWEL TREWYN
A SICK hoaxer who endangered a North Wales lifeboat crew at the weekend is thought to have struck before.
The man, who has nautical knowledge, is believed to have made hoax calls four times using a VHF (Very High Frequency) The range of electromagnetic frequencies from 30 MHz to 300 MHz. radio on the maritime distress channel.
The Daily Post yesterday revealed how Llandudno lifeboat crew had to brave gale force winds and high waves searching for a broken-down fishing boat in Liverpool Bay on Saturday night. The call was a hoax.
The Coastguard and Maritime Agency confirmed it was linking the incident to three other similar incidents in the last month.
Officials believe the culprit could be living in the Conwy or Llandudno area. Holyhead coast guard spokesman Jim Green said last night: ``He was in the Great Orme area and anyone who has information should contact North Wales Police North Wales Police (Welsh: Heddlu Gogledd Cymru) is the Home Office police force responsible for policing North Wales. The headquarters are in Colwyn Bay, with divisional headquarters in St Asaph, Caernarfon and Wrexham. .
``The calls were all made on VHF radio using the maritime distress channel 16 by a male over the last two months.
``We had the last call on Saturday at 9.40pm when he said he was on a vessel called the Caprice ca·price
a. An impulsive change of mind.
b. An inclination to change one's mind impulsively.
c. . His voice was calm and he gave the impression he had nautical knowledge by giving some quite precise longitudinal and latitudinal locations.
``He said there were five persons on board and they had suffered total engine failure. We then lost contact.''
Mr Green said the call was made through a hand-held VHF radio which can be bought at marine shops.
Mr Green said the hoaxer called the coast guard on December 7 at 11.54am,claiming the Santa Monica had suffered engine failure off the Great Orme with one person on board. Llandudno inshore in·shore
adv. & adj.
1. Close to a shore.
2. Toward or coming toward a shore.
in or on the water, but close to the shore: lifeboat, the coastguard and two local fishing boats searched in vain.
The next day he called the coast guards at Liverpool reporting a fishing boat, Brecon,had an injured crewman on board off Prestatyn.
Lifeboatman Les Jones said they could have been killed after the hoaxer directed them to a dangerous sandbank sand·bank
A ridge of sand forming a mound, shoal, or hillside.
sandbank or sand bar
a bank of sand in a sea or river, that may be exposed at low tide
Noun 1. .
He said: ``Whoever the hoaxer is,he knows something about boats and gave the boat's position on Conwy bar sandbanks. He knew that this would be a good place to see a boat turn over.''
A North Wales Police spokeswoman said: ``We intend to vigorously prosecute those responsible.''.
Anyone with information can ring 0845 6071002.
A lifeboat crew battling against the elements