At 14.06hr on Friday 21st July 2017, UK Coastguard requested the launch of Seahouses All Weather Lifeboat, to the report from a member of the public of a white object in the sea off the Stag Rocks at Bamburgh. Seahouses Coastguard Rescue Team initially attended to try and identify the object, which a member of public was concerned may be a capsized yacht. Sea conditions were quite choppy, with a strengthening gusty easterly wind.
The Coastguard Team used binoculars, and spotted the object which was about a mile offshore. They could not identify exactly what it was. Seahouses lifeboat was launched and located the object north of the Stag Rocks. It was in fact a large promotional balloon, blue and white in colour, bearing the words “TEAM CYCLE”. The balloon was a hazard to small craft navigation, and was recovered by the lifeboat crew, to avoid any further reports, and to prevent it causing problems to any vessels in the area. This material could wrap around propellers, and disable any smaller craft unlucky enough to run into it when it was floating on or just under the surface. UK Coastguard are making enquiries to trace the promoter and owner of the balloon, to offer safety advice when using such devices.
The Lifeboat then returned to station (with the balloon), and was refuelled and ready for service again at 15.55hr that day.