A resident living near the breakwater informed HM Coastguard they had heard noises and possibly also saw a light, suggesting someone could be in trouble on the water. The Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched just before 04:00 after being tasked by Solent Coastguard, with Patrick Moreton in charge.
Neil Archer drove the boat while Alisdair Boden and Will King handled the starboard and port searchlights. Meanwhile, Bembridge Coastguard Rescue and officers from Hampshire Constabulary searched the shore.
After an hour of fruitless searching, Cowes lifeboat eventually returned to station. It was then concluded that the noise had emanated, not from the water, but from someone on the shore.