A POSSIBLE hoax distress call interrupted the Rhyl RNLI volunteers' open day.

The word "Mayday," was heard on the marine distress radio channel by the UK coastguard at Holyhead, and the RNLI lifeguards at Rhyl beach sparked a search.

The charity's volunteers were paged at 11.56am, on Saturday, to launch both the inshore lifeboat 'Mary Maxwell' and the relief all-weather lifeboat 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'.

Both boats were already at the station for the Rhyl RNLI open day, and were launched within six minutes of being called.

The coastguard requested the all-weather lifeboat search offshore between Pensarn beach and Prestatyn Barkby beach; and the inshore lifeboat to search Rhyl harbour and close inshore between the same two points.

Local coastguards, who were also attending the open day, made enquiries on the Rhyl promenade area.

The lifeboats searched for about two hours, investigating all craft within the search area, with no results. The search was the called off by UK coastguard, as nothing further had been heard on the distress channel. The lifeboats and coastguards then returned to the event.

Martin Jones, Rhyl Coxswain said: "This incident used up many resources in a search, which could have delayed any genuine rescues that occurred.

"As well as wasting the volunteers' time, this also meant that the crew were not able to be on station collecting for our charity, and may seriously affect the total amount collected."