The crew of the Port Talbot lifeboat were called out following reports of a red flare over Swansea bay. Despite an extensive search, nothing was found.

Port Talbot RNLI has issued a warning after it was called out in the early hours of the morning to numerous reports of a red flare over Swansea bay.

The crew of the volunteer lifeboat responded to the emergency call at 1.30am on 23 July, and carried out a large search of the bay.

The Port Talbot coastguard also assisted in the search on land.

Despite more than an hour of searching, nothing was found.

The crews were stood down.

Now, the RNLI has issued a warning reminding the public that red flares need to be used responsibly.

Speaking to the South Wales Evening Post, the press officer for Port Talbot RNLI, Mel Cooper said: “The Port Talbot RNLI lifeboat was called out at 1.30am on Saturday July 23, after numerous reports of a red flare being seen over Swansea bay.”

He continued: “The lifeboat was launched and using night vision glasses and illuminating flares, an extensive search was carried out. Port Talbot coastguard were also involved, searching the beach and river areas.”

“After one hour and 25 minutes nothing was found and the lifeboat and coastguards were stood down,” explained the RNLI volunteer.

Cooper warned against the inappropriate use of red flares.

“Whether the call-out was genuine or a hoax has not been determined. However the public should be aware that the use of any type of red flare can cause serious, unnecessary problems for the emergency services and all involved,” he said.

“A malicious action could put a genuine emergency in jeopardy and lives could be lost,” stressed Cooper.