A man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after being found on a boat he did not own.

Canvey and Southend Coastguard Teams were called to search off the south Essex coast after reports of red flares being used, yesterday afternoon.

The teams searched an area around Two Tree Island, Hadleigh Ray and Canvey Point.

The officers focused their attention on a fishing vessel in the ray as Southend RNLI investigated.

The discovered man aboard was not the owner of the vessel.

Essex Police officers were taken out to the boat and arrested the man, and he was brought ashore at the end of Southend Pier.

Witnesses reported seeing three police cars and various coastguard vehicles.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We were called by colleagues from HM Coastguard after reports that a boat had become in trouble off of Two Tree Island in Southend just before 5.50pm on Thursday, 18 July.

"Officers attended and arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of criminal damage.

"He remains in custody for questioning."