Flare set off maliciously

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PRANKSTERS wasted valuable Coastguard time after they let off a rescue flare inland.

The Coastguard spent two hours searching for the source of the flare which was set off just before 9pm, somewhere in Southampton.

The Lee-on-Solent based helicopter was scrambled until a vigilant member of the public called in to say he had seen a car pull up, drop the flare and drive off.

A spokesman said the setting off of flares maliciously wastes valuable resources.