A VOLUNTEER at the Rhyl Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station received his first callout as coxswain after a report of an upturned boat off a beach in Conwy county borough yesterday (October 19).

Vinny Jones was standing in for coxswain Martin Jones when the initial call came in at 11.45am to the UK Coastguard co-ordinating centre at Holyhead.

A member of the public reported what appeared to be an upturned boat off Llanddulas beach, quite close inshore, though it proved a false alarm as it turned about to be a roadworks barrier.

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched, with Vinny at the helm of the all-weather boat.

The all-weather lifeboat arrived on scene first, and the crew were directed to the scene by volunteer coastguards ashore.

On arriving at the location, the crew could see that the object was actually a red and white roadworks barrier. This was confirmed ashore as the object sighted.

The barrier was recovered and both volunteer crews then returned to station by 1.15pm.

Vinny, whose normal job is a North Wales Police traffic officer, said: “I am used to seeing these barriers in my day job policing the roads, but to come across one out at sea was a bit of a surprise!

“I'm sure it wasn't causing offence but I have taken it into custody at the lifeboat station, and put it on the right road back!

“On a more serious note, we would rather people dial 999 and ask for the coastguard, if they think they see anything or anyone in trouble at sea.

“We would rather be tasked and find something like this barrier, rather than not be tasked at all.”