NEUSS, Germany, June 19 (UPI) -- German police said a helicopter crew searching for a reported "lifeless body" rescued a figure clad in "red pants" and "blue outerwear" -- a Papa Smurf balloon.
The District Police Rhein-Kreis Neuss said a train passenger reported spotting the "lifeless body" out a window near Dusseldorf and officers responded to the area in a helicopter.
The helicopter crew soon spotted a figure "wearing red pants, blue outerwear, a red cap and a white beard," police said in a news release.
The "body" turned out to be a partially deflated balloon in the shape of Papa Smurf, known in Germany as Papa Schlumpf.
Police shared a photo of the rescued balloon buckled into the seat of a patrol car for safe transport back to police headquarters.
Officers "took him to the police station, but have so far reached no relatives."
Police said the witness was "entirely justified" in making the emergency call, which they said could "potentially save lives under different circumstances."