FIRE fighters raced against time and the tide to release an eight year-old boy who got his foot trapped in a jetty.

Members of the public called for help after spotting the youngster near the Three Shells Beach Cafe in Western Esplanade, at 11.55am yesterday.

With the incoming tide just two metres away crews rushed to the boy's rescue to using a power saw to cut away timber and release him.

Crews from Southend and Leigh had released the boy by 12:18hrs.

Assistant divisional officer Matyn Hodder, Southend station commander, said: "On arrival the tide was coming in quickly and lapped around the trapped child's feet, the boy was becoming distressed as too were his worried parents as they watched the fire fighters work swiftly to rescue their son.

"Crews had to work quickly, a section of the jetty had to be cut away and removed using electric saws before the water covered the jetty completely allowing them to manipulate the child's foot and free him.

"As the boy was carried up the beach to be reunited with his parents and checked over by a paramedic, crews turned to look back and saw the area where the lad had been trapped was totally submerged by the incoming tide. Crews did an excellent job releasing him as quickly as they did."