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coastguardhelicopter104nightA search and rescue operation was launched yesterday evening (Thursday) after a flare was spotted off of the Ventnor coast.

As reported by Island Echo last night, Coastguard Rescue 104 helicopter from Lee-on-Solent was tasked to the area after HM Coastguard received a number of 999 calls reporting the sighting of a red flare in the sky just after 19:00.

Ventnor Coastguard teams were deployed to the coastline and the helicopter conducted a thorough search of the area, however after a 3-hour search rescue teams were stood down.

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A passing cross-channel Brittany ferry was also requested to assist in the search as it passed the area and Yarmouth RNLI were tasked, however were stood down before reaching the southern point of the Island.

Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat was placed on stand-by however did not launch.

It is believed the flare was set off from a nearby beach and could have possibly been a firework.

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