Penguin Picked Up After 999 Alert
Jul 24 2008
RESCUERS hunting for the site of a plane crash at sea called off their search - after the casualties turned out to be two inflatable penguins.
Coastguard and lifeboat teams, along with a helicopter, were scrambled after an elderly man reported a light plane had ditched near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. He was convinced he saw wreckage glinting in the sun. But rescuers discovered that what he had spotted were two massive balloons shaped like penguins.
Victor Sutherland, coxswain of Fraserburgh Lifeboat, said: "When we got there, all we found were the penguins. They were pretty large and could easily be seen from the shore. I can understand why he thought they were debris."
The man raised the alarm on Wednesday afternoon when a microlight he had been watching off the coast vanished from view. But the search was called off after the 4ft penguins, which were semiinflated, were discovered. The two penguins - whose source remains a mystery - have now been "adopted" by the lifeboat team.
Mr Sutherland says he does not want the false alarm to put people off calling the Coastguard. He said: "It would have been a costly exercise. But the man did the right thing."