SIGNPOSTS at the foot of cliffs in Newquay were mistaken for a stranded man and dog this morning, sparking a half-hour search and rescue mission.
A member of the public dialled 999 from Great Western Beach at around 9.15am, convinced the phantom figures were in danger as the tide came in and rain lashed down.
The RNLI launched its D-class inshore lifeboat to search for the stricken duo – and after a fruitless search discovered the call had been a “false alarm with good intent”.
Spokesman Andy Hobkinson 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 is always wise to report an incident by calling 999 and asking for the coastguard.”
The drenched lifeboat crew returned to their base at Newquay harbour at around 10am.