Lifeboats in Blackpool were launched to reports of a dog stranded in the sea last night, says the coastguard.
RNLI volunteers attended the incident in South Shore at around 9.30pm after concerns that members of the public were considering entering the sea to rescue the animal.
According to the lifeboat crew, the reported 'dog' turned out, in fact, to be a seal.
A spokesman for the RNLI said: "Our volunteers had just left the lifeboat station after their weekly training exercise when they were called out to reports of a dog in the sea.
"Members of the public were considering entering the water to attempt a rescue so our volunteers launched and headed straight to the scene, on arrival they realised that the animal was in fact a seal."
The crew were called out again at around 10.50pm to reports of a person in the sea at North Shore.
An RNLI spokesman said: "As they recovered the lifeboat from the first incident they were asked to launch again, this time to a report of a person in the sea at North Shore.
"Fortunately on arrival they found it was a bin floating just under the surface of the water."
Although both calls were false alarms, the coastguard has advised they would always rather members of the public contact them with any concerns.
A spokesman said: "Both incidents were false alarms with good intent and we'd much rather be safe than sorry. So please make sure you call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you are at the beach and see anything that gives you cause for concern."
Nobody was injured in either incident.