RESCUERS launched a dramatic search operation in the English Channel after an empty kayak washed ashore at Pevensey Bay.
The alarm was raised by people enjoying the sights and sounds of the bay on Saturday morning, May 26.
Dover Coastguard asked the voluntary crew of Eastbourne inshore lifefboat to help them.
The voluntary crew examined the mysteriously empty craft with coastguard officers at the scene.
They decided the kayak was in a good condition and it had not been abandoned.
So a two hour search and rescue operation was launched to look for any injured casualties in the water.
Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat was called in to help - along with rescue helicopter 125.
At the same time police and coastguard officers made enquiries ashore.
Finally it was discovered that the kayak has been stolen from the Hastings area the previous evening.
Experts believed it was unlikely there was any missing person in the water.
The rescue operation was aborted at 1.35pm.