LYME Regis coastguards and the lifeboat crew were called to reports of an empty tender dinghy floating 400 metres south of the harbour on Tuesday night.
The volunteer crews were called out at 10.05pm and it was quickly established that the vessel had been pushed out to sea by “partying beach-goers” enjoying one of the first days of relaxed lockdown restrictions.
Lyme Regis has seen particularly high spring tides this week and several groups were seen wading through the water, back and forth to the North Wall, on Tuesday evening.
The lifeboat was quickly able to recover the sailing dinghy and with no one in difficultly, all units were stood down.
A spokesperson for Lyme Regis Coastguards said: “We would like to thank the first informant for promptly reporting this to the coastguard. His actions have undoubtedly prevented a very lengthy search that would have involved many search and rescue assets.”
It was the second shout of the day for the lifeboat crew, which was called to reports of a kayaker in difficulty at Cobden Beach near Abbotsbury at 5.30pm, while crew members were already out training.
The volunteer crew conducted searches, but nothing was found and were later stood down by the coastguard.