LIFEBOAT crews have hit out at hoaxers who sparked a rescue attempt after setting off flares.
The crew of Berwick lifeboat were scrambled at around 10pm last Thursday after red distress lights were spotted in the sky off Fidra Island in the Firth of Forth.
But a police investigation has been launched after flare debris was discovered in a car park at an East Lothian beach and witnesses reported people running away.
Ted Hill, a former crew member at North Berwick who now acts as deputy launching advisor, said they were treating the incident as malicious.
He said: “From the best evidence we have, these flares appear to have been set off delibratly.
“Flare debris was found in the car park at Yellowcraigs and people were seen running away.
“Fortunately we have , having a Zodiac inshore lifeboat means we can respond very, very quickly and the crew we have haere are magnificent.
“It’s a pretty low cost operation, but incidents like this are certainly an annoyance.”
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders police confirmed they were looking into the matter.