A HOAX call led to six RNLI lifeboats from across the South West being deployed to 'rescue' at Milford Haven.

Volunteers from Burnham-on-Sea RNLI were called at 9.30pm on Monday (August 3) to take part in a huge search of the Bristol channel after a Mayday distress call was received by Coastguard Ops and reported to be in the vicinity of Steepholme.

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat Doris Day and Brian was quickly launched by Burnham RNLI to go to the scene.

The Barry Dock ALB, two lifeboats from Penarth and two Weston-super-Mare lifeboats, plus a rescue helicopter were also called to the scene.

After an investigation by the coastguard team at Milford Haven, it was deemed to be a hoax call and Burnham Coastguard were stood down at approximately 10.15pm.

The Burnham Atlantic returned to station for a muddy wash-down by volunteer crews and crews returned to their beds around midnight.

Head Launcher Ian Brown said: "Hoax calls put a massive drain on SAR assets from all services and commit equipment and staff that could be required elsewhere for a real emergency.

"Calls like this are treated very seriously by the police. The RNLI launched six lifeboats to this 'Mayday'.

"As a charity that relies solely on donations with no government funding this was a very costly call out and put our own volunteers at risk."