A hoax call reporting a missing child has been condemned after dozens of emergency services spent more than two hours searching for the fictitious situation.
Reports were received on Saturday 3 June that a 12-year-old was stuck in the mud at the end of Southport Pier.
The coastguard team based at Crosby diverted to the pier to begin the search, bringing full mud rescue equipment with them.
Merseyside Police, the fire service and ambulance were also sent to the area along with Southport Lifeboat.
Coastguard teams searched the area around the pier, but quickly expanded the search area with the help of the Lifeboat teams, quad bikes, police and a drone.
The extensive search lasted for more than two hours before teams agreed it was a hoax call made by a visitor who had been in Southport earlier in the day.
HM Coastguard Southport said "This hoax stopped personnel from all four emergency services being available for genuine incidents.
"This included 14 Coastguard Rescue Officers, three fire & rescue crews, an ambulance and crew, a rapid response paramedic, approximately 10 Police officers, and Southport Lifeboat’s quad bike team plus their support."