A DRAMATIC sea rescue got underway after reports of youngsters trapped by the incoming tide.
But upon arrival of the emergency services, it emerged that the “stricken” people were not trapped youngsters but fishermen who refused the help of those who went to rescue them.
The operation saw both Hartlepool’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched as well as the assistance of Seaham’s Coastguard team and the RAF Bulmer helicopter.
The services were tied up for 50 minutes during the incident.
The four men were fishing from an area known as Cinderella Rock, at Easington, when a member of the public spotted them and from a distance thought they were children stranded by the rising tide.
The member of the public called the emergency services, who promptly sprang into action around 5.10pm yesterday.
A HM Coastguard spokesman said: “We received a call reporting some kids who got cut off by the tide on Cinderella Rock. “But when the team got there it turned out to be some people fishing who didn’t want to come off the rock.”
The spokesman said it would have been appreciated if the men had let the Coastguard know beforehand about their intentions so they were better prepared for when members of the public report such events.