Whitley Bay beach fireworks spark ship in distress alert

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image captionPeople were found letting off fireworks on the beach at Whitley Bay

People setting off fireworks on a beach sparked concerns a ship may be in distress, a lifeboat crew has said.

The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade received two reports of a red distress flare being spotted over Whitley Bay at about 22:40 GMT on Friday.

The flares were found to be fireworks and rockets. It was the second of two calls to flares during the night.

Teenagers were also lucky not to be hurt when they misfired a flare at about 21:00, the brigade said.

A brigade spokesman added: "When firing the flares one had misfired and gone straight into the ground.

"This could have had disastrous consequences for those firing the flare and they can consider themselves very fortunate to have avoided serious injury."

The Cullercoats RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was also called about the flares.

On both occasions a full search was carried out to see if any vessels were in trouble or missing but none were found.

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