Both crews search for ‘missing person’ after jacket spotted off Wildersmouth beach

The fear that someone had fallen into the sea prompted Ilfracombe inshore lifeboat’s first shout of 2016, just 12 hours into New Year’s Day.

The Deborah Brown II, was launched at 12.21pm to reports of an object spotted off Wildersmouth beach, summoning crew members from their New Year lunches.

The object was identified as a black jacket and with visibility reducing, the all weather lifeboat The Barry and Peggy High Foundation, was launched at 1.30pm.

Both boats continued to search the area until crews were satisfied no one was in danger.

Ilfracombe all weather lifeboat coxswain Andrew Bengey said it was a call with good intent: “We would always rather be called and check these things out than be called too late; it is always valuable training for us. I would like to thanks the crews for their dedication on a bank holiday being called away from their families,” he said.