The coastguard has said a search for missing paddle boarders off the coast of Orkney was a “false alarm”.

It responded to calls of missing paddle boarders in the Scappa Flow area at around 9.15pm.

A Longhope Lifeboat assist and a helicopter were despatched to trace the missing people, and coastguard teams from St Margaret’s Hope and Kirkwall were also called in to help.

The boarders were found safe and well and the coastguard confirmed it was a false alarm, reported with “good intent”.

A spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard responded to reports of paddleboarders in difficulty off Widewall Bay, Orkney, August 16.

“Alerted at around 9.15pm, coastguard rescue teams from Kirkwall and St Margaret’s Hope, an all-weather lifeboat from Longhope RNLI and the coastguard helicopter from Sumburgh were sent to the scene.

“Investigations found that everyone was ashore safely and the search was terminated.”