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Coastguard hoaxer not linked to Isle of Wight hunt
11:00am Tuesday 20th August 2013 in News
A BOGUS search for two missing boys yesterday is not believed to be linked to a serial hoaxer with a fascination for the coastguard helicopter.
Dorset police launched an investigation earlier this month after Portland coastguards reported receiving two or three malicious calls every day, believed to have cost thousands of pounds.
The helicopter costs around £3,000 for every hour it is in the air but coastguards stressed that they had not responded to every hoax call made on VHF radio channel 16.
Mike Branagan from Portland Coastguard speculated that a holidaymaker or local resident could have been responsible for “diverting resources from a possible genuine emergency”.
He added: “It is dangerous and puts lives at risk, not to mention being a waste of time, fuel and resources.”
Yesterday’s search for two boys reported missing off an Isle of Wight beach was called off after the address given by their parents turned out to be false.
Police are now investigating the incident after the search involving the Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter, RNLI lifeboat and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary was stood down.
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