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Bradwell: Water rescue teams spend four hours on false alarm
Water rescue teams raced to the River Blackwater yesterday fearing someone was in trouble - but could find nothing wrong.
Coastguards believe a light, which had been mistaken for a red distress flare, could have been a chinese lantern or from an aeroplane.
Multiple 999 calls had been made to the Thames Coastguard last night after members of the public thought a boat was in distress in the Bradwell-on-Sea area.
West Mersea RNLI and South Woodham Ferrers Coastguard team both investigated, a mission which cost the RNLI about £800.
Both rescue teams carried out a two-hour search of the area, but could find nothing untoward.
A spokesman for Thames Coastguard said false alarms happen frequently, but he urges people to still contact them with any possible sightings of red flares.