Following a report in the Echo of a child getting caught in the muddy sands on Southend beach, I believe our rescue service is doing an excellent job and will always be required.

This recent incident is a near miss, which should not have happened in the first place, indicating a tragedy waiting to happen.

If a playground or beach is not safe, then neither you or your child should be playing on it. That child was only rescued because there happened to be other people on the beach, including the child's parents. The safety of Southend's beaches needs to be improved to the maximum, until then warning signs must be displayed clearly along our beaches and maybe deckchair attendants can hand out leaflets warning of all dangers.

I would also suggest to anyone bait-digging to be equipped with an air-horn and a distress placard of some kind to alert the coastguard.

T Jellis
North Road