Coastguards' false alarm over lantern

A LIFEBOAT was launched after coastguards received a 999 call reporting a red flare over Portobello - but it turned out to be a Chinese lantern.

The Kinghorn lifeboat carried out a sea search between Leith and Portobello, while Coastguard rescue teams from Fisherrow and South Queensferry searched the shoreline, but nothing was found. Another report was received of a Chinese lantern in the area around the same time on Wednesday evening.

Helmsman Mike Chalmers said: "It serves as a good reminder that although Chinese lanterns may look nice, they can present problems and appear similar to red distress flares.

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"Sightings, or suspected sightings will always be acted upon by the Coastguard and I would urge people using Chinese lanterns near the coast to consider whether they really want to use them, or to inform the Coastguard first."