Hoax calls 'unacceptable' says West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has slammed hoax calls as ‘unacceptable’ as figures show a rise in such calls during the pandemic.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 10:34 am
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) observed 954 false alarms across Scotland in both 2020 and this year to date

Mr Bowie was responding to the latest data which revealed that Coastguard personnel across Scotland responded to more false alarm calls during the pandemic than in the years previous.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) observed 954 false alarms across Scotland in both 2020 and this year to date, with a total or 117 — just over 6% — classed as hoaxes.

This compared to 870 false alarms in 2019 and 721 in 2018.

Between Stonehaven and Cape Wrath, North and North East based teams responded to 242 false alarm alerts last year and 218 in 2021.

Mr Bowie said: “I deeply appreciate the hours put in by Coastguard crews, who save dozens of lives every year. “Every second counts during an emergency on the coast or at sea.

“The figures, and the increase in the number of false alarms during Covid, show how much time and effort goes into taking emergency calls.

“Although 2021 has so far seen a reduction in the number of hoax calls, these remain unacceptable.”

“They put lives at risk and ties up a resource which is on standby for real emergencies.”

There are approximately 3,500 volunteer Coastguard rescue officers in the UK, divided into 350 teams strategically placed around the coast.