Man seen 'walking into the sea' in Blackpool believed to be 'false alarm'

A major search and rescue mission launched off the coast of Blackpool yesterday morning, November 21, but lifeboat crews have now doubted that anyone was missing.

By James Holt
Sunday, 22nd November 2020, 7:21 pm

The six-hour search that involved two helicopters, coastguard teams, the RNLI, and the police yesterday has been called off, as an update from the Lytham St Anne's RNLI suggests it may have been a false alarm.

The search got underway after a resident living in a flat near the Metropole hotel in North Shore said he had spotted a man walking into the water at low tide, at around 9.30am.

Lifeboats from Blackpool, Lytham, and Fleetwood's RNLI stations were then called out, as were Coastguard rescuers from Lytham, Fleetwood, and Knott End, and two helicopters.

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Despite their intensive search, which was carried out amid rough seas, with three-metre waves, the man remained missing.

But in a new update today, Lytham St Anne's RNLI said they now doubt that anyone was actually missing, believing it to be a false alarm with good intent.

Their statement said: "​A thorough search was made of the entire area, sadly without success although doubts still existed that someone was actually missing.

"The search was called off around 4pm after over six hours and the two lifeboats then at sea returned to their respective stations."

Helicopters, coastguard teams, the RNLI, and the police took part in a search thought to be a 'false alarm'

​Duty Launching Authority Laurence Foster said: “It was a necessary but time consuming service for the volunteer lifeboat crews with no satisfactory outcome at the end of it.

"We can only hope that it was a false alarm with good intent in the first place and nobody is missing."