A huge rescue mission was carried out to save a "drunk" man from the sea.

A police helicopter, the RNLI, Southend Coastguard, police officers and the ambulance service were all needed to rescue the man who was floundering in the Thames Estuary, off Eastern Esplanade.

Emergency services had received reports of an "inebriated" man stuck in the water near the Southend Marine Activity Centre at around midnight last night, but by the time the Southend's coastguard team had arrived, the man was back on shore.

The man was taken away in an ambulance for further medical checks.


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The coastguard has issued a warning to seafront visitors now the pubs are open again, with a spokesman saying: "Alcohol is a contributory factor in a significant number of coastal drownings every year, and we advise against setting to sea if you've been drinking alcohol.

"If you’ve been drinking, your judgement will be impaired and you’ll be more likely to make mistakes which at sea could be life-threatening.

"Even if the weather is warm, the waters around the UK remain extremely cold throughout the year, with an average temperature of a chilly 11 degrees.

"If you fall into the water, you’re likely to suffer from cold water shock. This, and the fact that people who have been drinking are more likely to take risks, is a potentially lethal combination."