'Help, I'm stuck in Stinky Bay': Ordnance Survey collates database of local place nicknames
2 February 2018, 16:25
Anyone stranded in Stinky Bay, Crazy Mary's Hole or Nuncle Dicks could be forgiven for thinking twice before giving their location to a 999 operator.
But anyone seeking help on the south coast of England will no longer have to worry about the emergency services not having a clue where they are, thanks to a database created by the Ordnance Survey.
So far 6,000 local nicknames have been collated by coastguards and 999 operators in a bid to help save lives in situations where grid references, post codes and road names are not known.
Built up over five years, the map of Britain includes a "vernacular geography" - place names used by locals, but up until now not included on official maps of the area.
Created in partnership with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) the database - called FINTAN - has so far been restricted to the south coast of England.
But now the Ordnance Survey team want to apply the same rigour to inland areas.
Ordnance Survey chief scientist Jeremy Morley said: "This is just the start…the hard bit has been creating software algorithms and a web application which is up to the task.
"Now our ambition is to make the service, as part of our public duty, accessible across every part of Great Britain to support all our emergency services."
Chris Thomas, deputy director of maritime operations for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: "There is no doubt that having this information at our fingertips cuts down our response times and saves lives".
HM Coastguard - which responded to more than 22,000 incidents last year alone - are the first emergency service to use FINTAN.