Southend Coastguard update after huge operation over fears of someone in the water

Southend coastguards retrieve large piece of timber <i>(Image: HM Coastguard Southend)</i>
Southend coastguards retrieve large piece of timber (Image: HM Coastguard Southend)

SOUTHEND Coastguard has retrieved a large piece of timber after reports of a person in the water.

HM Coastguard Southend were tasked to reports of a person in the water along the seafront holding onto an object drifting in a westerly direction.

At around 12:50pm yesterday, the first informant observed the object at a distance from their home overlooking the seafront and dialled 999 in the event it was a person in difficulty.

Coastguard Rescue Officers proceeded to the location of the first informant and spoke to officers at the scene.

Immediately officers spotted the object drifting now opposite the sea life centre 300m offshore.

Team then relocated to the Sealife Centre whilst keeping the object in sight although by then it wasn’t thought it was a person in the water. But it was suspicious enough to request the RNLI Southend Lifeboat to determine what it was.

The D Class lifeboat then proceeded to intercept the object and was confirmed it was a large piece of timber.

Just moments before the lifeboat reached the scene, a speed boat conducting passenger experiences from marine parade just missed hitting the object.

Once brought ashore it was apparent how large and heavy the piece of timber was and required four of the crew to bring it on to the beach.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard Southend said the object presented a danger to watercrafts in the area.

They added: “We would like to say a big thanks to the first informant for calling this in as, whilst it was not thankfully a person in the water, the object presented a clear and present danger to watercraft in the area.

“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.”