Two sets of hoax distress flares fired over the weekend saw coastguards in both Mullion and Flushing scouring the cliffs in search of casualties that did not exist.

The first callout was at 7pm on Saturday, when Mullion coastguard cliff rescue team was asked to investigate a flare in the sky over the village. They were joined by volunteers from the Lizard lifeboat and both Penlee’s all weather and offshore lifeboat, searching from the sea.

A fisherman in the area also spent an hour helping in the search. Despite two hours of looking, no one was found in distress.

Then, on Sunday, the coastguard received a 999 call at 4.21pm from a concerned onlooker who had seen a white parachute flare and orange smoke flare fired from near Trefusis Point, Flushing.

One of the coastguard team based at the docks had also seen the flares, as had two fishermen.

Ken Bazeley, from Falmouth Coastguard, said: “Obviously we had to task a team to go down and investigate because that’s a distress signal – even though there were people reporting it was inland.”

On arrival at the flares’ source, the team members found scorch marks on the ground and a burnt orange residue on the path – “a sure sign of flares being fired.”

Ken suspected the culprits were “kids larking about” but he was quick to point out that letting off flares without good reason “is an offence and the police will arrest people and charge them.”

Flares can be safely disposed of by making an appointment at the Falmouth coastguard station.

The police are now investigating the hoaxes but despite this anyone who spots a flare is still urged to call 999.

READ how angry it made the Skipper this week.

Backtracking pay greed and horrible hoaxers