Man arrested after hoax 999 call scrambles several emergency units
A 28-year-old man has been arrested after a hoax 999 call launched a massive search operation in Waterford last night.
Several emergency services responded, including the coast guard rescue helicopter, after the man claimed he saw a person being swept away after jumping into the River Suir.
“Several Garda units responded to the call, two Coast Guard units, Waterford River Rescue, the fire brigade and there was a Coast Guard rescue helicopter as well,” a Garda spokesperson said.
Confirming the arrest, they said that man had been released and a file was being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Shortly after 10:30pm, an emergency call was made to the coast guard claiming a man had gotten into difficulty after climbing into the River Suir.
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Waterford based Coast Guard units were launched, as were river rescue crews from the county’s volunteer service. Also scammed was the Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter.
Gardaí attempted to get in touch with the caller again and after several attempts they made contact with him and discovered the hoax.
A spokesperson for the Coast guard said that hoax calls “diverted resources away from possible real incidents.”
“They are also unfair to those local crews that respond. Mostly these are volunteers who leave their homes and families. Last night’s rapid response is to their credit.”