Coastguard praise women's actions after major search at Northern Ireland beach is 'false alarm with good intent'
'We would rather people dialled 999 than walk on without reporting something, no matter how trivial it may be'
The Coastguard has hailed the actions of four women after a major air, sea and land search which took place in Co Down turned out to be a "false alarm with good intent".
The walkers reported seeing someone struggling in the sea at Tyrella on the County Down coast on Monday night.
The PSNI helicopter, Newcastle Coastguard team and the Newcastle inshore lifeboat were all tasked to the area after four women walking on the beach saw what they believed to be a person in difficulty.
A comprehensive search was carried out for almost two hours before the operation was called off with nothing found.
A Coastguard spokesman said the incident appeared to be a false alarm with good intent.
He said: "The four young women did exactly the right thing when they saw something unusual at sea and contacted the emergency service.
"We would rather people dialled 999 than walk on without reporting something, no matter how trivial it may be."
Belfast Telegraph Digital