Stranded at 'Stinky Bay?' UK Rescuers Can Find You Now

Official database adds local nicknames to make sure everyone is on the same page
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2024 8:01 AM CDT
Stranded at 'Stinky Bay?' UK Rescuers Can Find You Now
A file photo of rescuers in the UK.   (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Folks having an emergency at Crazy Mary's Hole may get a more rapid response via a new tool for UK emergency services that helps identify locations by their nicknames. The Guardian reports that 9,000 locations—like cliffs, caves, sandbanks, and buildings—that have local monikers you probably won't find on Google Maps have been entered into a new Vernacular Names Tool (VNT). Sourced by locals, this helps the Ordnance Survey (OS) direct rescue workers more efficiently. For emergency medical service administrator Chris Jones, the VNT's value is in "ensuring that our ambulances will be able to get to the scene of an incident effectively with an accurate location provided by OS, no matter how it is identified by a caller."

Per the BBC, the VNT is replacing a mapping system that the coast guard used for 10 years called FINTAN. One instance where hyper-localizing location services came in handy was during a search-and-rescue helicopter mission at Wales' River Dee. Their search by the "Fun Ship," a specific site on the docks, successfully retrieved a missing person. "Wherever we live, we all have nicknames for local places," John Kimmance, the managing director of OS national mapping services, tells the Guardian, "and uploading these into a database really could mean the difference between life and death."

Here are some of the quirkier entries that made it into the database:

  • The wedding cake: the Queen Victoria memorial across from Buckingham Palace.
  • Stinky Bay: the nickname for the headland Pentire on the north coast of Cornwall.
  • Sausage Island: a popular rock-jumping spot in north-western Wales.
  • Crazy Mary's Hole: a deep ravine rumored to be haunted in Pakefield, Suffolk.
  • Jabba the hut: a colorful beach hut in Lincolnshire.
  • Drinking Dinosaur: an East Yorkshire rock formation that looks like a dinosaur drinking from the sea.
  • Teletubby Hill: a section of Welsh woodlands.
(More stories about the UK.)

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