View as PDF

Aberdeen lifeboat launches to ‘red flare’ alert off Portlethen

Lifeboats News Release

Was it a flare? Was it a firework? When the call comes in, the lifeboat goes out – regardless of any 'seasonal' doubts.

Aberdeen's all-weather lifeboat 'Bon Accord' at full speed

Mark Gray/RNLI Aberdeen

Aberdeen's all-weather lifeboat 'Bon Accord' at full speed
Aberdeen's all-weather lifeboat 'Bon Accord' launched at 5.55pm this evening (Wednesday 1 November) following a call from a member of the public who believed they had seen a red flare off Portlethen, 7 miles south of Aberdeen.

The lifeboat searched an area between Portlethen and Newtonhill, up to 0.5 miles offshore. With nothing found, and no further reports of flares seen, the lifeboat was stood down by Aberdeen Coastguard at 7pm and returned to her berth in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen Lifeboat Operations Manager Bill Deans says: 'In view of the date, it seems likely this was a false alarm sparked by fireworks. We would ask the public, aside from organised public displays, not to let off fireworks on the coast where they might be mistaken for distress flares and cause false alarms for the search and rescue agencies.'

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland