Lights spark flare fears off Sunderland pier

The call reported red lights in the sky above the South Pier in Sunderland. Image copyright Google Maps.
The call reported red lights in the sky above the South Pier in Sunderland. Image copyright Google Maps.

Drone owners have been asked to let the emergency services know if they are flying their kit at night after flashing lights sparked a 999 call out.

Members of Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team were called out just after 9pm last night after a call reported red flares over the South Pier of Sunderland.

The crew were joined by members of the RNLI Sunderland Lifeboat Station to assist in a search.

A spokesman for the Coastguard said: "On arrival it became apparent the flares were actually drones being flown by a local club from the old North Pier.

"The owners were asked to contact the Coastguard operations centre should the be flying in the area again.

"This was a false alarm with good intent."

The service has issued a reminder people should call 999 and ask for the Coastguard in case of all coastal emergencies.