A post on the Island Echo-owned Isle of Wight Breaking News Group, on Facebook, saw a member of the public report the sighting of a red flare in the vicinity of the River Medina, East Cowes. This was followed by another member posting a photograph of the flare illuminating the night sky, backing up the report.
HM Coastguard was alerted to the situation having been made aware of the post within the group and tasked resources to search the River Medina at around 23:00.
Volunteers aboard Cowes Lifeboat searched up and down the river, whilst land-based Coastguard Rescue Officers conducted searches of the banks of the Medina between East Cowes and Newport.
It has been confirmed that the incident is being treated as a false alarm with good intent, with no vessels or persons found to be in distress.
Members of the public are urged to contact the Coastguard on 999 immediately following any sightings of flares.
If you or someone else is in difficulty on the coast or at sea, or if you spot what you think may be unexploded ordnance, then dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Further safety information can be found at https://coastguardsafety.campaign.gov.uk/.
Get help faster by giving emergency services your exact location by using ///what3words.
what3words have divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words, which means when you are in a remote area of the Isle of Wight you can get assistance much quicker without the need for local knowledge.
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