COASTGUARD officers launched a frantic search for potential casualties after receiving reports of a barking dog with no owner in sight.

West Bay Coastguard officers were tasked with checking the area around the base of East Cliff after they were alerted to a lone, barking dog by Solent Coastguard.

On arrival, one search team was sent eastwards along the beach to Freshwater while a second team checked the pier and harbour area to the west.

Neither the dog nor any potential casualties were found.

A spokesman for West Bay Coastguard said: "With no persons reported missing and no evidence of anyone in distress, the team was stood down pending further enquiries.

"This was recorded as a false alarm with good intent and we want to thank the first informant for reporting their concerns.

"Take care on the coast this winter, but If you find yourself in difficulty, or if you see something that gives you cause for concern, do not hesitate… DIAL 999 and ask for the COASTGUARD."