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False Alarm (2003)

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This article is about the 2003 magazine story. You may be looking for the 2001 magazine story.
"Smoke and fire! That swimmer needs help!"
— Duck

False Alarm is a magazine story.

Plot

Duck is taking the Mayor to open a brand new lifeboat station close to the pier. The lifeboat crew stands to attention as the Mayor unveils a shiny nameplate on the side of the building. He also thanks Duck for his hard work, too. Duck feels like a Really Useful Engine as everyone cheers and claps for him! Shortly, Duck sets off back along the coastal branch line where he sees two people on lookout duty on the beach. His driver explains that they are lifeguards who keep an eye on the bathers to make sure they stay out of trouble. A moment later, Duck hears Harold on patrol overhead. Duck thinks it must be exciting to rescue someone.

Later, as Duck puffs along the cliff top, he sees what appears to be a head bobbing about in the rough water below. Duck raises the alarm by whistling as loud as he can to get Harold's attention. Luckily, the helicopter hears and meets Duck at a signal. Duck tells Harold what he saw. Harold immediately checks the water, but he can't see anything. They decide it's better to be safe than sorry and the pilot soon radios through to the lifeboat station where the lifeboat is launched into action. Soon, Harold, the lifeboat, and Duck were all peering closely at the rocks, when suddenly, Duck cries out. It turns out that the swimmer in need is actually a seal! Duck felt very silly, but the lifeboat's crew didn't mind; it was good practice for them!

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