Spiderman balloon sparks major alert off coast of Sunderland

The balloon back at the Sunderland lifeboat station. Pic: RNLI
The balloon back at the Sunderland lifeboat station. Pic: RNLI

A child's Spiderman balloon sparked a major alert off the coast of Sunderland today.

Sunderland and Seaham Coastguard, along with both Sunderland Lifeboats and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter, were called out this afternoon to reports of a parachutist in the water at Ryhope Dene.

The Sunderland lifeboat crew  - complete with Spiderman. Pic - RNLI

The Sunderland lifeboat crew - complete with Spiderman. Pic - RNLI

A Coastguard spokesman said: "On arrival, officers spoke to the first informant who pointed out the object some distance out to sea.

"Using binoculars we identified the object as a Spiderman balloon. The balloon was recovered by the lifeboat to prevent any further call-outs.

"The incident was a false alarm with good intent and the person did the right thing to call us to confirm no one was in danger."

The scene at Ryhope today, Picture: Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team

The scene at Ryhope today, Picture: Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team