LYME Regis coastguards, lifeboat crew and a search and rescue helicopter were called out this morning (Thursday) after a red flare was spotted in Charmouth.
Lyme Regis Coastguards were alerted to a sighting of red distress smoke and a possible person cut off by the tide at 10.23am.
They called Lyme Regis lifeboat at 10.30am and they were on the scene within 15 minutes. Beer Coastguards and the search and rescue helicopter from St Athan in south Wales were also scrambled.
The helicopter and lifeboat searched the shoreline for any persons in the water or any vessel in distress, while the coastguard teams accessed the beach as far as they could safely do so.
The coastguard team found a large ‘man overboard marker’ from a ship which had been at sea for some time, which may have emitted the smoke.
The ‘casualty’ was a local fossil hunter and he was found to be safe.
He was also able to confirm that the ‘man overboard’ marker let off the smoke, as it was smashed against the cliff by the action of the sea.
As the fossil hunter was safe and the cause of the smoke thought to be explained, all units were stood down.