SOUTHEND coastguards swarmed to the seafront after members of the public raised the alarm that a torpedo was floating in the sea - only for it to turn out to be a wooden log.

The coastguard team were called out to a “suspected ordnance on land at Shoebury” after reports suggested the object, which looked like a missile, was floating in the water.

An officer for HM Coastguard Southend said it was not uncommon for weapons to turn up in that particular stretch of water.

He said: “The area where the object was seen was on the area restricted by the ministry of defence.

“It has been used for testing and very often we have got Second World War ordnances and we do have to contact the military.

“The coastguard contacted us to say can we respond to it.

“We right away had officers in the water who were trying to retrieve the ordnance.”

Two coastguard rescue officers, dressed in full personal protective clothing equipment, entered the water to investigate the suspected device.

The coastguards dragged the object out of the water after they were called by the Dover Coastguard.

Thankfully, once the torpedo-shaped object made it to the shore, the coastguards found that the object was in fact a large log.

Although the object was found to be nowhere near as threatening as first feared, the coastguard team felt that it was a necessary risk to retrieve the log.

The coastguard officer said: “Had it been a real ordnance, we would have had to evacuate the area and closed off the footpath.

“We have to deal with these sorts of calls and they do happen very often.”

The ‘torpedo’ in the sea was not the only incident that turned out not to be so severe for Southend’s coastguards on Wednesday afternoon.

At around 4.45pm, the coastguard was called to an incident of “a person in the water, off Thorpe Esplanade”. There were calls from residents to say that a person was seen in the sea, struggling against the rough tide.

The coastguard officer said: “A woman had seen someone in the water and they appeared to be struggling.”

Two swimmers were finally seen by the coastguards where they were directed back to the beach.

Once again, the report was a false alarm and the pair were enjoying a swim in the sea.

The coastguard officer however once again said that although there was no risk to the swimmers, they had to ensure that they were safe.

He said: “You do not know unless you make sure these people are safe. Mostly all you can see is an arm or a head poking out of the water so the public’s reports are very helpful.”