The coxswain of Peterhead lifeboat has encouraged people to download a mobile app that helped them in a rescue effort, saying it “could be a life saver”.
After a man got into trouble near the coast at Forvie yesterday, the Coastguard requested assistance from the RNLI and the lifeboat was deployed.
The casualty had shared his location with emergency services by using the app what3words, which designates each three metre by three metre square on a map with a random three words.
This allows very precise locations to be given over the phone – without having to use a complicated system of co-ordinates.
Peterhead RNLI quickly launched their Tamar class lifeboat, named The Misses Robertson of Kintail, after being alerted around 2.45pm.
However, they were stood down after half an hour, when Police Scotland gave them the news that they had managed to reach the man and he was being cared for.
‘A really good option’
Nevertheless, Peterhead coxswain Pat Davidson was keen to suggest people download the free app in case they find themselves in trouble.
He 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.
“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.”
Saving valuable seconds
What3words previously made headlines in the north-east when it was revealed a Network Rail worker used the app to direct emergency services to the site of the Stonehaven derailment in August.
Every member of staff at Network Rail has the app downloaded on their phone in case they urgently need to say exactly where they are.
The RNLI warned earlier today that people should take extra care at the coasts this Good Friday bank holiday, which coincides with the easing of Scottish Government coronavirus restrictions.
Pat Davidson added: “Given the amount of people likely to visit our coastlines this 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.”