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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 216

Date:- 29 August 2005

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COASTGUARD ASK PUBLIC FOR ASSISTANCE TO LOCATE HOAX CALLER

THE Maritime & Coastguard Agency this week took the unusual step of issuing to media organisations a recording of the hoax call which was made to their Liverpool Rescue Co-ordination Centre on Sunday 21 August 2005.

The mayday call claimed that a speedboat, was taking water 2 miles north of Skinburness Point, following engine failure. The caller from the ‘Boy David’ suggested three people onboard. He said all were wearing lifejackets. Following this broadcast, nothing else was heard.

Please press play icon to play the audio file which is an mp3 format. The file is 1’37” in duration.

Liverpool Coastguard sent the following resources to the area:-

• Burgh by Sands Coastguard Rescue Team
• Burgh by Sands Coastguard Rescue Boat
• The rescue helicopter from RAF Leconfield
• Workington RNLI Lifeboat and inshore lifeboat
• Sillogh RNLI Lifeboat
• Maryport Inshore Rescue Boat
• Annan Coastguard Rescue Team
• Port Ling Coastguard Rescue Team


Liverpool Coastguard Rescue Co-ordination Centre Manager, Sue Todd said:- “We are appealing to the public to help both the Police and ourselves identify this very dangerous prankster. There was a huge search effort by a considerable number of very dedicated people, many of them volunteers, to help try and locate this phantom speedboat and its occupants on Sunday afternoon.

The important thing is that this hoax caller is found. Hoax calls can, and in this case did, tie up a valuable maritime search and rescue resource which might have been required elsewhere in a real lifesaving incident.

Those who risk their own safety to rescue others should not be put at needless risk in responding to bogus distress calls.

Anyone who has any information on the identity of the caller are being asked to contact either the Coastguard at Liverpool on 0151 931 3341 or Cumbria Police on 01768 891999.”

NORTH WEST AIR AMBULANCE STATEMENT

IT has being reported in some of the media, that the North West Air Ambulance may be forced to axe its vital life-saving service as it battles to survive amidst a cash crisis.

This report is factually incorrect. The North West Air Ambulance HAS NOT launched an appeal for cash help in the face of mounting costs, mainly for fuel. "This report has been in some of the national and local media last week.  I would like to stress that it was not run in this publication, but we have asked the to run it as we would like reassure to the public that we are ok.    We do raise funds as we are a charity, but in no way do we have a cash crisis.” North West Air Ambulance told us.

Southport golfer is runner-up in Golf Foundation Weetabix Age Group Championships

SOUTHPORT’S scratch golfer Tommy Fleetwood played some wonderful golf to finish runner-up in the national Golf Foundation Weetabix Age Group Championships, held at the Marriott Forest of Arden Golf & Country Club in Warwickshire, on 16 and 17 of August.

Tommy, from Kew, Southport, plays at The Park Golf Club. He was among 100 of the most talented young golfers from around Britain who had qualified through regional finals to compete in the finals of one of junior amateur golf’s most prestigious events, with Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, David Howell and Mhairi
McKay all having taken part in the Championships, which started back in 1987.

To qualify, Tommy had to compete against 1,800 young golfers in the regional final stages and against an initial entry of 5,500 youngsters – boys and girls – under 16 years of age. Tommy, playing off a scratch handicap, finished second in the Boys’ Under 14 category, following 2 strong rounds of 70 and 74, in a total of 144.

Mike Round, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said:- “The Weetabix Age Group Championship has a wonderful pedigree in British golf and for the last 2 decades has given junior golfers a great start in regional and national competitive golf. It will have been a great experience for every player taking part and there is also every chance that some of the very best European players of the future were teeing it up at the Forest of Arden.”

Justin Rose was one such player back in 1993 when he won the Under 14 category of the Weetabix event. He said recently:- “The Golf Foundation’s Age Group Championships gave me the encouragement required to take the game to the next level. I enjoyed playing in this tournament and remember how much winning it meant to me. The Golf Foundation and Age Group Championships are very important for developing junior golfers.”

The Golf Foundation, whose aim is to develop junior golf throughout the British Isles and make the sport more accessible, has been successfully running the
Championships now for 18 years. The Championships provide an opportunity for British boys and girls to play against golfers of their own age. Sponsored by
Weetabix since 1992, the competition is open to boys and girls under 16 with handicap limits of 24 for boys and 33 for girls.

Mayor's charity cabaret

THE Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Hans Mundry, has organised a cabaret night in support of his charity appeal and everyone is invited. The Decapo Dance Band will present the cabaret on Friday 23 September at Sir Thomas Boteler School, Grammar School Road, from 7.30pm.

Tickets are £12 and include a hot pot supper, and 2 complimentary glasses of wine and guests are advised to bring their own drinks. The proceeds will go to the Mayor's two chosen charities, the Butterfly Project (NCH) and Home-Start Warrington.

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