A INVESTIGATION into a "danger to life" hole found on a beach in Shoebury discovers it was man-made by a group of teenagers.

HM Coastguard Southend was called out to the beach at 4.40pm on Wednesday.

They were responding to a report of a large crater appearing in the sand.

At the time, Coastguard chiefs warned beach-goers to maintain a safe distance from the hole, due to fears of collapsing sand which could trap and endanger their lives.

The hole measured roughly 9ft in length, 7 to 8ft in width and is about 7ft deep.

An investigation into the large hole has now solved the mystery, with council bosses confirming it was "man-made" and not a sink hole as originally thought.

It is believed to have been dug by a group of teenagers with metal detectors.

A spokesman for Southend Council said: "The mystery of the East Beach hole has been solved.

"Following visits to the site we determined that this hole was man-made and not a sink hole as originally thought.

"There was sub soil debris clear at the top of the hole from it being dug out. This corroborates reports we have had from local people who saw a group of teenagers with metal detectors digging a hole in this area.

"Our contractor Marlborough filled in the hole this morning and removed the barriers.

"We would like to remind everyone of the clear danger that can be caused by digging a large hole like this like on a public beach and urge people not to do this."