An RNLI team called out on New Year’s Eve were forced to sail their lifeboat – in FANCY DRESS.
The lifesavers were seen dashing through the town dressed as Donald Trump, Superman, Bananaman and Robin Hood.
The heroes were responding to reports of red flares being fired and had to launch their lifeboat.
But it turned out to be a false alarm and the RNLI happily returned to their celebrations after an extensive – and ‘surreal’ – search.
RNLI volunteer Jay Curtis, was dressed as Superman when he responded to the incident off Looe, Cornwall.
“All the lifeboat crew were ready to go if there was an emergency,” the 26-year-old said.
“A flare was let off. It was an out of date flare. We were all in different places but all in fancy dress. Obviously we had to stay sober and ready to go.
“Looe is a historic town with back alleys so we all met up at a similar point. It was quite surreal as we are normally in our usual clothes.”
The crew members launched the Atlantic 85 Class lifeboat just before 1am when they were alerted to the flares.
An extensive search was carried out but nothing was found and the lifeboat stood down at 1.45am.
It was later revealed that an out-of-date flare that had been fired.
The RNLI said it is an offence to fire distress flares for nothing and that heavy fines may be imposed.
David Haines, operation manager of Looe lifeboats, said: “We take this sort of incident very seriously. The person letting off the flares has been spoken to and he said he was sorry for his irresponsible actions.”
“We are always mindful that false alarms of this type may have more serious consequences as valuable resources were committed and if a more serious shout had come in the ability to respond would have been less than desired.
“Rescuers’ lives are put at risk every time lifeboat crews are called out, in hazardous winter conditions, to what they assume to be a genuine cry for help.”
Jay said: “Out of date flares should be disposed of properly.
“Every shout out is very serious but on the way running up it was quite comical – not something you do every day,” he added.