The coastguard launched an urgent search along Southend seafront after a person was seen in the water near the pier.

The team were tasked yesterday at 4.50pm to reports of a person in the water opposite the Cliff Lift, but as they arrived on the scene officers were soon notified a person had been located.

The Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Dover requested the crews search the area, alongside the coastguard on Canvey and the RNLI Southend, who launched the D Class lifeboat to conduct a shoreline search.

It later transpired that the person had wandered out near the pier and obtained cuts and bruises from the oyster beds before presenting themselves to a police unit on Marine Parade.

A HM Coastguard spokesman commented: "So false alarm with good intent.

"Should you see anyone in trouble on or near the coast, don’t hesitate to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard, you could save someone’s life."