This is what caused the 'strange lights' seen over Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood last night

Dozens of people reported seeing 'strange lights' moving around in the sky over Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood last night (Monday, February 28).

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 10:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 10:46 am

"Has anybody seen the strange sets of lights over Fleetwood and Blackpool," asked one local man who spotted the unusual activity at around 9pm.

"There was 5 sets each with 4 or 5 coloured lights and 2 of them kept shooting back and forth at speed," he added, sharing his sighting with others on Facebook.

It was soon established that the formation of lights were hovering in the sky over the River Wyre between Stanah and Hambleton.

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Local residents and skywatchers soon suggested a number of possible explanations for the flying objects.

Could they be part of billionaire tech-mogul Elon Musk's Starlink - a satellite internet constellation with around 1,700 satellites in orbit above Earth?

But this was ruled out due to the sudden, rapid movements of the illuminated objects.

Some suggested they could be Chinese lanterns or maybe even fighter jets on night training manoeuvres over the Fylde Coast, possibly from nearby Warton airfield?

Dozens of people reported seeing 'strange lights' moving around in the sky over Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood last night (Monday, February 28). Pic: Dave Nelson

Whilst others were concerned that the lights might be signal flares from a vessel in need of urgent help in the River Wyre.

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A helicopter was then spotted circling nearby, before others reported police and rescue teams gathering near the Shard Bridge, fuelling fears that a rescue mission was underway.

"We’ve got a helicopter, drone, police, coastguard and at least two inflatables down at Shard. Must be very concerned whoever they’re searching for," said one observer.

The mystery was later solved when Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service reassured the public with a post on Facebook.

The fire service said: "At 9pm this evening (Monday, February 28), our crews are conducting a training exercise on the River Wyre at Hambleton.

"We are using drones and a rescue boat to stage a rescue of a casualty in the water.

"Please do not be alarmed if you see our crews at work."

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