An Independent lifeboat Coxswain has said lives could have been put at risk by a hoax callout in Gosport this morning.
One of the Charities lifeboats were launched in stormy weather at 10.40am on Sunday after reports that a child had got into difficulty after going into Haslar Creek.
The search was stood down at 11:30 when the coastguard declared it a hoax.
GAFIRS senior coxswain Chris Rudd said the hoax callers “could have put people’s lives at risk”.
Mr Rudd said: “There was a heavy breaking surf in the area with a strong south-westerly wind blowing force seven and two-metre swells.
“The lifeboats were on scene within minutes and the volunteer lifeboat crew searched in very challenging weather.
“The call for help was believed by the coastguard to have been a hoax and while we are relieved that no one is hurt we are disappointed that anyone would call out the emergency services on a day like today, knowing it to be a hoax.
“They could have put people’s lives at risk and diverted necessary search and rescue assets away from other work.”
The search centred on ashore line behind Gosport Rugby Club approx 2 miles from the lifeboat station.
The all-weather lifeboat was launched, and the search also involved a helicopter from Lee on the Solent, the Police and a team from Hillhead shore-based coastguard search and rescue team.
After an extensive search of the Creek area it then emerged the call-out had been made by hoaxers
A spokesman for the UK Coastguard at Fareham said “Hoaxes like this tie up valuable resources and waste a great deal of time and money. We are glad it wasn’t a real child in the water.”
Two local teenagers are being questioned by officers from Hampshire Police over the incident