Saturday 19 October 2019

Emergency services waste two hours searching for 'distressed man' after hoax call

Stock picture
Stock picture

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Emergency service resources in Navan were wasted for over two hours on Friday as they attended to hoax reports of a man entering the river Boyne.

Gardaí in Navan received the hoax call at around 10.30pm and two ambulances, a fire brigade, gardaí, a fire brigade boat and two river rescue boats were at the scene until after 12.30am.

Chairperson of Meath River Rescue, Christopher Rennicks, said that Gardaí were trying to contact the caller but the calls were going unanswered.

“We got a call from the guards that a person was seen entering the water. I went down and met the guards at the scene. They were ringing the person that made the call and the phone kept ringing out,” he said.

“We had a boat in the water. The guards were ringing and they kept ringing and ringing and it would ring out and then it was being turned on and off.

“There were two ambulances a fire brigade, a fire brigade boat and two river rescue boats. The road was closed. I just think it’s a waste of resources.

“You don’t want this happening too much. God forbid, if there was another emergency somewhere else what would have happened? If the ambulances were needed at a house fire… one ambulance came from Drogheda and one came from Navan.”

A section of the road, where the man was said to have entered the river, was closed off and over two hours of the emergency services’ time was wasted but the caller’s whereabouts is known and Gardaí say an investigation is ongoing.

“Gardai and emergency services were called to an incident that occurred at Poolboy Bridge, call to say male had jumped into the river,” a Garda spokesperson told

“On arrival, this incident turned out to be a hoax call. Investigations are ongoing.”

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