BOMB experts were called to Swanage following reports of a cylinder on the beach.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service were called to assist the coastguard at around 11.30am after the heavily corroded cylinder was discovered above the water line on the beach below the Pines Hotel off Burlington Road.

Coastguards who were on patrol nearby were sent to investigate and kept members of the public away until the fire brigade arrived.

Dorset Police was also involved and evacuated a large area of the beach hut complex.

Coastguards and fire crews left the scene at around 2pm and the operation was handed over to the police, with a 200m cordon remaining in place around the cylinder.

There was concern that the cylinder could contain acetylene, an extremely flammable and unstable gas used in welding.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were called and assessed the object.

A Dorset Police spokesman said the EOD team arrived on scene just before 4.30pm and found the object to be an empty gas cylinder. They took it away with them.

Dorset Police then lifted the cordon and all those evacuated from the beach huts were allowed to return.