Thames Coastguard launched a massive rescue operation after reports of two people in difficulties in the water near Burnham on Crouch at around 15:43 yesterday.

Burnham RNLI Lifeboat and inshore lifeboat, South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team, Essex Police, Essex Ambulance and RAF Sea-King Rescue Helicopter were all tasked to attend the scene.

Once a lifeboat arrived on scene, the persons were located ashore and were assessed by an ambulance as safe and well.

A 79-year-old man was also rescued from the River Crouch yesterday after being spotted in a “distressed state”.

His dinghy had overturned and he had been in the water for an hour before the Thames Coastguard was alerted just after 17:00.

The Coastguard alerted South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team, Burnham RNLI Lifeboat and Essex Ambulance and the man was recovered and assessed by paramedics.