SEA rescuers sprang into action in Newquay to save a man and a dog trapped on rocks – only to find the stricken pair were just some warning signs on a cliff.
When a worried onlooker dialled 999 on Thursday morning, lifeboatmen battled the elements at high tide in a race to rescue what were believed to be a man and his best friend.
Only after spending 30 minutes scouring the coves and headlands surrounding Great Western Beach in a heavy swell and breaking surf was the team able to establish that the call had been a false alarm.
The volunteers returned to the lifeboat station at Newquay Harbour just after 10am.
Andy Hobkinson of the RNLI said: "From a distance and in heavy showers, signs on the rocks had been initially mistaken for a person and dog in difficulties.
"Although it was a false alarm this time, it's always wise for anyone who thinks they may have seen someone in difficulties in the sea or on the coast to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard."