Brixham Coastguard received a call just after 2pm on Saturday 12 July 2014 from South West Ambulance Service who had been made aware that people were in trouble on cliffs at Meadfoot beach.
With little information to go on, Brixham Coastguard sent the Torbay, Berry Head and Teignmouth Coastguard Rescue Teams to the scene, along with both Torbay RNLI lifeboats, Torbay Council patrol boat, police helicopter, Devon Air Ambulance, as well as police and ambulance crews.
A thorough search of the area was carried out, but teams were stood down just after 5pm, when nothing was found.
Matt Thornhill, Watch Manager at Brixham Coastguard, said:
This was a large scale, multi-agency search that lasted for around 3 hours. With the information we had been provided, we were extremely concerned for the people’s safety.
However, nothing was found during the thorough search and units have since stood down. We now believe this to be a hoax. Hoax calls are wasteful and potentially life threatening – they tie up valuable search and rescue resources which may have been required elsewhere in a real lifesaving incident.
Police are continuing with their enquiries in relation to this incident.