An operation launched by the coastguard and lifeboat to rescue a dinghy in distress turned out to be a false alarm.

The coastguard was called yesterday afternoon after a white dinghy with three people on board was reported to be having difficulty in the sea off East Beach, West Bay.

Five rescue officers quickly responded by picking up their equipment and heading to East Pier to try and get sight of the dinghy.

The Lyme Regis RNLI Lifeboat was also launched and started making its way to the area, with the coastguard's senior coastal operations officer joining the operation.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers searched the area using binoculars, however no dinghy could be seen on the water.

The coastguard received an update after members of the public reported that three people and a dinghy had been seen leaving the sea about six minutes before the teams arrived at the scene.

Officers were able to find the three people near East Beach car park - they took their address details and gave them safety advice. The individuals said they had cut their pleasure trip short due to the wind and sea conditions, and were not in any distress.

The call was logged as a 'false alarm with good intent'. The coastguard has said it would like to thank the person who called 999, as well as the members of the public who helped them locate the three individuals.

A reminder has been issued for anyone who finds themself in difficulty at sea or is concerned about someone's safety not to hesitate in calling 999 to ask for the coastguard.