A man has been found in Whitehaven safe and well after the launch of a joint RNLI and Coastguard search earlier today.

Reports of a man missing at sea triggered a callout for the Workington RNLI and HM Coastguard, at about 1.30pm today.

Initial information suggested that a man had been fishing on the pier at about 11am, and had not been seen since, according to a spokesman for HM Coastguard.

However, after an almost three hour search involving Workington RNLI's all-weather lifeboat and a Coastguard helicopter, the man was located safe and well on land.

Workington's all-weather lifeboat, the Dorothy May White is more capable than other lifeboats of being able to handle the particularly rough sea conditions today's weather has brought.

A spokeswoman for the Workington RNLI said: "The Dorothy May White was stood down at around 4.20pm after it was confirmed that the man had been found safe and well on land.

"Our thanks to our colleagues at HM Coastguard."

A spokesman for the Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre, which coordinates HM Coastguard operations off the west Cumbrian coast, described the incident as a "false alarm with good intent - and a happy ending.

"A person matching the description who was in the area at the time came forward and made himself known to Coastguard teams on scene.

"He was in no danger at any time and the first informant did the right thing by calling in when he wasn’t sure."