The Sunderland Coastguard team was called out last night following reports of someone stuck out at sea on a rock near Whitburn.
The crew was alerted by the Humber Coastguard at around 9pm last night.
A spokesman for the Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team, said: "On arrival Coastguard officers spoke with the person who had correctly called 999 and they confirmed the person had made their way back to the beach via the water.
"We carried out a search of the beach and spoke to the few people on there to confirm everyone was ok.
"With the tide at its lowest point and satisfied there was no one in danger we were stood down. False alarm with good intent."
People are urged to remember that in a coastal emergency they should dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.