POLICE are investigating those who set off a distress flare leading to the scrambling of emergency services on Wednesday night in Co Down.
The PSNI said police in Ards and Coastguard staff received a number of reports that a distress flare had been sighted in the bay off Kircubbin.
“Police, Coastguard, Lifeboat and the police helicopter were all deployed,” said the PSNI in Newtownards.
“Coastguard eventually discovered an empty flare casing on the beach and the situation was declared a hoax.
“This amounted to a huge waste of time, money and effort on the part of the emergency services.”
Anyone who has information about who set off the distress flare is asked to Ards PSNI on 0845 600 8000.