A man dressed in black thought to be trapped on the coast sparked an alert this evening – at the same spot a person was rescued from 24 hours earlier.

And it has emerged the man hid from rescuers who were called to help him.

They spent two hours trying to look for him before they called it a day.

For the second evening running, the volunteer crew of the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat was launched and Coastguard teams were scrambled following reports of a man cut off by the tide between Lyme Regis and Charmouth.

The man, said to be dressed in black and carrying a rucksack, later disappeared on the cliffs from the view of coastguards ashore and the lifeboat crew.

Lyme Regis Coastguard said there had been several reports of a person cut off by the tide.

A spokesman said: "The Coastguard team maintained visual contact with the ‘casualty’ from the sea wall to the east of Lyme Regis. Meanwhile the lifeboat also located the casualty. However as soon as this visual contact was established, the man started climbing the cliff and deliberately hid.

"As the area is inaccessible, searches of all the surrounding areas were continued but there was no further sighting.

"After two hours and without any further information, the search was stood down."

The spokesman added: "The Coastguard team and the lifeboat crew will always want to make sure that the casualty is safe and is also in a place of safety.

"If you believe that the emergency services may have been sent to help you, please do not hide. Make contact and let us know that all is okay. We can return to base knowing that that the initial call was a false alarm with good intent."

Rescuers had been called to the same location on Saturday evening to rescue a young man who had been cut off by the tide.

Coastguards urge visitors to the coast to pay attention to local warning signage and take note of the tide times. Wear appropriate clothing and make sure you have a method of calling for help.

The lifeboat crew were stood down, having launched at 6.30pm, and returned to Lyme Regis harbour at 7.40pm.