Casualty used 'What3Words' app to seek help from Peterhead libeboat crew

An RNLI Peterhead libeboat crew was called out after a casualty used the ‘What3Words’ app to seek help.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:20 pm
The Peterhead Lifeboat returning after the shout. (Photo:Craig Meheut)

The Coastguard requested the assistance of the RNLI Peterhead lifeboat on Tuesday (March 30) after a casualty used the app to confirm their location.

The casualty was two miles from the nearest road, so the RNLI volunteer crew quickly launched its Tamar class lifeboat, The Misses Robertson of Kintail, and departed for the location.

However, half an hour into their shout, the volunteer crew were stood down with the news that the casualty had been reached by emergency services colleagues from Police Scotland and was already being cared for.

Coxswain Pat Davidson thanked the crew for their quick response and professionalism, and said: “I think this is the first shout we’ve had where the casualty has used the What3Words app.

"For anyone visiting the coast, even out for a walk with their dog, it’s a really good option.”

The What3Words app works by dividing the world into three-metre squares, with each given a unique combination of three words, making it an easy way to find and share exact locations.

Pat added: "If you’re not used to navigating and don’t have a map or know how to use one then this app could be a life saver. Given the amount of people likely to visit our coastlines in the summer, it’s a good app to download.

"Obviously, an app doesn’t stand in for checking tide times and not putting yourself at risk, but should an accident occur then you want the emergency services to be able to find you.”

Last summer the RNLI saw an increase to shouts as Scots took to the coast. Therefore, the easing of restrictions which will permit people to travel more freely has prompted the lifesaving charity to call for the public to stay safe.

Michael Avril, RNLI Scotland’s water safety lead and chair of Water Safety Scotland, said: “The public need to remember to follow the safety advice – stay in familiar surroundings and don’t put yourself, your family or emergency services in danger by taking risks or assuming it ‘won’t happen to you’.

"If you do see someone in difficulty in the water or at the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”