A distress call prompted a lifeboat search off the Isle of Wight today (Monday, November 27), but fears have been raised that there was never any vessel in difficulty.

At 4.45pm, Freshwater Independent Lifeboat was sent to investigate a broken radio call following a faint message, which appeared to be a boat in difficulty in the Freshwater Bay area.

After a shoreline search of the bay, nothing was found.

Just over an hour later, Solent Coastguard requested the crew to launch after another faint broken call, describing a vessel experiencing a blackout one mile south of Freshwater Bay.

The crew completed a thorough search of the area for 30 minutes, but again, nothing was located.

Solent Coastguard stood down the lifeboat after it was believed 'that no vessel was in difficulty at the reported location'.

Freshwater lifeboat returned to base and was ready for service by 7.30pm.