Page last updated at 14:48 GMT, Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:48 UK

Paper lantern sparks major search

A major emergency operation to find a paraglider in distress was called off after the subject of the search turned out to be a paper lantern.

Police, fire crews, a search and rescue team, the coastguard and the RAF all joined the search near Whitby, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday morning.

Three hours later, police found the remains of a Chinese-style lantern in a hedge near the village of Fylingthorpe.

North Yorkshire Police said: "This was a genuine call made in good faith."

However, the force urged members of the public to think carefully about the use of such lanterns.

Pile of ash

A North Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "At around 8.30 this morning [Wednesday], police were called by a member of the public in the Fylingthorpe area who believed he had seen a paraglider in distress, which had landed in the Hawsker area, near Whitby.

"A full search was made of the area involving police, fire, Scarborough and Ryedale Search and Rescue Team, the coastguards and the RAF.

"At around 11.15 this morning, officers involved in the search located a pile of fresh ash along with the remains of a Chinese-style paper lantern.

"This was a genuine call made in good faith, which was thankfully not as serious as we first thought.

"However, we would ask members of the public to think carefully about when and where they use such lanterns."




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