'Mickey Mouse' rescued from Irish Sea by RNLI lifeboat crew
A lifeboat crew has rescued a large Mickey Mouse balloon from the Irish Sea after they received a series of 999 emergency calls from County Wicklow.
Several people contacted the Irish Coast Guard co-ordination centre in Dublin on Sunday, reporting an object crashing into the sea at Bray seafront.
A RNLI lifeboat crew from Dun Laoghaire responded and "recovered" the balloon.
They said they were "particularly happy to assist Mickey Mouse, one of the all-time favourite cartoon characters".
The balloon, which had been carried out to sea by the wind, was found floating towards the cliffs at Shanganagh.
In a statement, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said people had been paragliding in the Bray area recently and "there were fears that the object might have been one of these in difficulty".
Stephen Wynne, lifeboat operations manager at Dun Laoghaire, said: "We're happy that this was a call made with good intent and calling 999 and asking for Coast Rescue is always the best course of action."
Last month, a bunch of party balloons triggered a RNLI rescue operation off the County Down coast in Northern Ireland.
Donaghadee's All-Weather Lifeboat launched on 31 May after reports of an object in the water off the coast of the Copeland Islands.
The Donaghadee crew found a bunch of helium-filled party balloons that had come down in the sea.