Fear & Alarm Created By Fake News TikTok Streams As Blackpool Rescue Unfolds

Deeo concerns have been raised as creators on TikTok and other platforms spread false news, including that missing children were involved, as Coastguard & RNLI units and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter were undertaking a rescue operation off the Fylde coast.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said, ‘The Promenade was very busy with lots of residents and visitors alike. The presence of helicopters, life boats and a whole range of emergency vehicles is bound to draw a crowd and a lot of interest and there were several people live streaming our work on TikTok and other platforms. There was much speculation being shared including that there were missing children involved, there wasn’t. Other rumours too were being taken for fact; this is one of the reasons we make these posts. We are limited on the amount of information we can share and are careful about the timing within which we share it. This is to protect the confidentiality and dignity of the casualties, but what we share are the facts of the incident and will hopefully allay any rumours that have arisen.’

HM Coastguard Fleetwood shared the correct factual information, saying that their team were called at 4.31 p.m. on the afternoon of 13th April to reports of a male entering the sea at Blackpool’s South Pier.

The Spokesperson for HM Coastguard Fleetwood continued, ‘At that time, Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 937 was on route to Blackpool Airport to refuel after having relieved Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 936 on a major search off Morecambe.

They were just approaching North Pier, so were on scene very quickly to assist police with the initial search. Coastguard units were tasked from Fleetwood and Lytham along with Blackpool RNLI, Blackpool Beach Patrol and North West Ambulance Service.

As both Fleetwood vehicles were passing Blackpool Boathouse, reports of the first informant being there came in. After an interview it became clear that the initial location had been incorrectly reported and the casualty had actually entered at the Wedding Chapel.

All assets were moved north and the search continued.

New reports of a person in difficulty at South Pier meant a rescue team and vehicle being deployed there with Rescue 937.

During a Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme (JESIP)  meeting between Coastguard, Police, RNLI and Paramedics, reports of the initial casualty being found safe and well inland were investigated and confirmed by Blackpool Police.

Soon after, it was concluded that there were no longer any concerns for a further casualty at South Pier, and all assets were stood down.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 937 refuelled again and returned north to continue the search at Morecambe.

Great joint working between services on scene and MRCC Holyhead meant the mass of mixed reports were unravelled and the incidents concluded safely.’


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