Reports of an unexploded bomb near Weston-super-Mare prompted coastguards to scramble to the beach – only to discover the item was part of an old safe.
The Weston Coastguard Rescue Team received the call just before 5pm on Sunday 7 February having just returned to base after attending to reports of a man cut off on the rocks by Anchor Head.
A member of the public came across a ‘rusty object’ during a walk at Sand Bay before posting a message on the group’s Facebook page to alert the team.
A spokesman for the Weston Coastguard Rescue Team suggested alternative methods for people to initially ‘call in’ such reports before using social media to alert the team.
They said: "Facebook is a great communication tool but to mobilise us the call needs to go through the official channels.
"Needless to say it didn’t take long, by 16:54 we were en route to meet up with the first informant."
Anti-tank mines have recently appeared on beaches in the West Country, and in this instance the crews were carefully directed to the location of the suspected explosive.
The spokesman said: "One of the team approached with caution, and we were happy to receive the news it was a very rusty front of an old safe.
"Sadly on this occasion, no treasure was found."
Members of the public are reminded that anyone who spots trouble or discovers anything unusual on the coast ought to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.