HM Coastguard Southend has issued an urgent warning around the dangers of "drinking and drowning".

As summer is fast approaching, Southend is expected to see an influx of tourists coupled with mid afternoon spring tides.

The Coastguard has revealed that a shocking 46 per cent of drowning victims never intended to enter the water in the first place.

The emergency service stresses that all it takes is "a few drinks and one bad decision to leave you in trouble".

A spokesman said: "Don’t drink and drown and be a statistic.

"While we would never want to stop the fun, we do want to remind you of the dangers of mixing alcohol when at the coast.

"All it takes is a few drinks and one bad decision to leave you in trouble.

"Don’t let it happen to you. Avoid going near the water if you’ve had alcohol as slips, trips and falls are far more likely if you’ve had a tipple.

"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."