COASTGUARDS, the lifeboat crew and a search and rescue helicopter were alerted to a sighting of a red flare south of Seatown.
Just before 6.10pm yesterday (Friday) Lyme Regis Coastguard carried out a search from high ground while Lyme Regis lifeboat and the helicopter from St Athan in south Wales searched for any boats in distress further offshore.
Fortunately, a walker approached the coastguard and confirmed the sighting of a red flare but it had been fired inland near Chideock. With the initial search patterns completed at sea, the rescue assts were stood down.
A spokesman for Lyme Regis Coastguard said: “Marine distress flares are not fireworks. Distress flares should only be used at sea when there is a vessel and its crew in grave and imminent danger.
“We would like to thank the first informant for making the initial call. We would also like to thank the gentleman who advised the coastguard that he had also seen the flare.
“It avoided a lengthy and very cold night for all the SAR crews looking for something that was not there.
“For emergencies on the sea, cliff, river, mud, harbour and beach, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”