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999 call reporting body in River Taw turns out to be false alarm

By e_glanfield  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

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Police and coastguard crews were scrambled this morning after a member of the public reported seeing a ‘body’ in the River Taw.

A member of the public rang 999 after spotting an object which looked like it “could’ve been a body” in the River Taw, between New Bridge and the Civic Centre in Barnstaple, at around 11.20am.

Police officers were deployed to the scene and upon arrival located the object from the shoreline, which they said was “moving with tide while being pecked by birds”.

Swansea Coastguard was contacted and a coastguard search and rescue team from Croyde was scrambled to assist in the operation.

Crews conducted a search of the river bed and river edges before confirming at around midday that the object was an “old and battered overturned hull of a boat”.

The debris, which was submerged in the sandy river bed, was left where it was and crews returned to shore.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed the object reported was an upturned hull of a dingy but said the call was made to the emergency services with good intent which was appreciated by the force.

Swansea Coastguard said the boat was very old and confirmed there was absolutely no cause for concern.

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