Clothes left on a Skegness beach sparked a lifeboat search going six miles south of the town and four miles offshore on Saturday night.
The clothes were found at 8pm by inshore lifeboat crew members returning from an earlier false alarm call, when reports of a jet skier in trouble off Ingoldmells turned out to be a small fishing boat,
The crew re-launched the lifeboat to search the area for anyone in the sea and shortly after was joined by the all-weather lifeboat Lincolnshire Poacher, police, and a coastguard rescue helicopter.
The search area included six miles south of Skegness and up to four miles offshore.
However, off-duty lifeguards then provided information about a man who went for a swim and returned safely to the beach and was thought to have left some clothes on the beach and the search was called off at 10:15pm.
Lifeboat coxswain Ray Chapman said that if someone had gone for a swim and not returned the chances of finding them were extremely slim.
He said: “We didn’t know if or when this person may have gone in the water so we had a huge area of sea to search. Fortunately, no one has been reported missing and it seems certain that this person is safe ashore somewhere.
“To avoid incidents like this in the future, we would ask all beachgoers to take their clothes home with them, or use the bins provided on the beach if they are no longer needed.”
Both Skegness lifeboats returned to the beach at 11pm and were cleaned, re-fuelled and ready for service again just after midnight.