Lifeboat volunteer convicted of making hoax call

Donald Grant ordered to donate £2000 to East Sutherland Rescue Association after emotional breakdown led him to making hoax call

A Scottish lifeboatman has been ordered to donate £2000 to his own lifeboat station after being convicted of making a hoax emergency call.

Donald Grant anonymously phoned East Sutherland Rescue Association (ESRA) on 27 September to say a woman had fallen from the pier at Embo Harbour in Scotland.

He then joined his colleagues in the Dornoch-based independent inshore lifeboat as it carried out a three-hour search, which also involved an RAF Sea King helicopter, three police vehicles and two ambulances.

Mr Grant, who had been a crewmember of the lifeboat for more than 10 years, pleaded guilty to causing annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety to emergency services staff involved in the needless search.

His doctor said that the behaviour of Mr Grant, whose marriage had recently broken down, was typical of someone who had had an emotional breakdown due to stress.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said that he would have imposed a prison term, but in this instance he felt the £2000 compensation order was more appropriate.