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Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 18:43 GMT
Action Man toy sparks sea rescue
Action Man
The Action Man was recovered and taken ashore
An Action Man sparked a major rescue operation after it was mistaken for a parachutist landing in the sea.

Coastguards were called after 999 calls reported seeing a sky diver fall into the sea a quarter of a mile out to sea off Hastings, East Sussex, on Sunday.

Lifeboat crews found the "parachutist" floating in the water and discovered it was a toy tied to some helium balloons.

A coastguard spokesman said a child must have tied the figure to the balloons and it had drifted off.

'Small silhouette'

He said: "The Action Man was recovered and taken ashore.

"He is with Hastings Coastguard and is being well looked after."

"The wind brought it along - it could have come from miles inland.

"The two people that saw it probably reported it because it was like a small silhouette and looked like it was much further away than it actually was."

The toy was seen falling into the sea about a half-mile from Hastings Pier towards St Leonards.

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