Both lifeboats called out to search following reports of troubled paddler boarders and black objects in the water

Ilfracombe’s lifeboats launched yesterday (Sunday) to a paddle boarder and a bunch of balloons.

The double shout began about 4.30pm when reports came in of a paddle boarder in difficulty near Widmouth Bay.

The person was actually to the west of Lee Bay and it turned out they didn’t need assistance.

Suddenly reports began to come in of an unidentified black object floating in the sea.

What could have been two people wearing wetsuits turned out to be six black balloons bunched together, but inshore lifeboat helmsman Mark Weeks said: “They were both very worthy reports with good intent, and it’s nice to know that members of the public are so vigilant.

“Two very effective searches carried out in a relatively short space of time. A great joint effort by all involved.”