Coastguard teams hunt four hours for ‘ghost’ distress call

Search – Coastguard teams searching for the ship

COAST GUARD teams rushed to a distress call off Shoebury but no vessel was found.

HM Coastguard Southend was tasked at 9.40am on Wednesday with a ‘mayday’ call from a vessel in distress which was picked up by the Shoebury antenna of HM Coastguard station.

No further calls were received after the first distress call and no position was given, but crews still searched for the boat.

Dover Maritime Rescue Coordination Center has requested Southend Coastguard, a rescue helicopter and RNLI Southend Lifeboat to carry out a land, sea and air search of the Thames Estuary, Crouch and Potton Island.

Crews worked for four hours but were unable to locate the vessel

A Coastguard spokesman said: “After an extensive search by land, sea and air, nothing was seen or heard of and given the good weather and sea conditions for such a search, all the teams were then withdrawn without finding anything.”

The source and reason for the Mayday call has yet to be established.

The Coastguard provides radio coverage up to 150 miles offshore using its network of remote air sites around the UK coast. The Southend Coastguard Shoebury air site is one such support network on the coast.