VIDEO: Paignton search and rescue operation turns out to be 'false alarm'
A search and rescue operation involving a Royal Navy helicopter in Paignton on Saturday turned out to be a false alarm.
The Torbay Inshore Lifeboat was launched at 12.49pm following a report from the public that a man was in trouble off Preston beach.
The Search and Rescue Sea King helicopter from Culdrose was scrambled to the search, as well as the council’s beach patrol boat.
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Witnesses at the scene reported seeing the helicopter searching areas between Thatcher Rock and Berry Head.
Coastguard personnel are also believed to have searched on and underneath Paignton Pier.
Emergency services spent hours searching for the man believed to be in difficulty before confirming it was a false alarm.
A spokesperson for Torbay Lifeboat said: “We had a report from a member of the public who thought they saw someone in trouble.
“We searched the area but found nothing untoward.
“It turned out to be a false alarm with good intent.”
The operation was officially called-off at 5.50pm.