Coast Guard crews spent more than eight hours searching through the night and into Thursday morning in the Vinalhaven area after two red flares were fired into the sky about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, a standard indication of distress.

However there was no corresponding distress call, and searchers could not locate anyone who required help, said Chief Petty Officer Christopher Guilmette.

The flares, from a distance, are sometimes indistinguishable from consumer-grade fireworks, Guilmette said.

Fixed-wing aircraft, a helicopter and the 65-foot Coast Guard cutter Tackle were involved in the search over 500 square nautical miles.

The search was called off Thursday morning, Guilmette said.


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