Authorities said an alcohol-fueled, 3 a.m. swim led to a rescue call when a group of people thought one of their friends had gone missing in the water.
Crews said they got the call to 8th Street in the Surf City area of Onslow County at about 4 a.m. Thursday.
According to the Surf City fire chief, some young adults were swimming in a canal. The swimmers thought a woman with them had gone under the water and didn't come up.
But after rescuers arrived, the woman in question simply walked up to the scene, the chief said. She had been out of the water and no rescue was needed.
The chief didn't know if the group would face any charges. He said he believed the people were all more than 21 years old.
No one was hurt, the chief added.