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Tombstoners have come under fire for wasting valuable emergency services’ time after sparking a five-hour search.

Concerned witnesses called the police after a woman was seen jumping from a bridge over the River Chelmer in Maldon.

A widespread search for the woman was carried out, including a search of the water by frogmen.

Officers on the ground attended the scene, along with the ambulance service, police helicopter, South Woodham Coastguard Rescue Team, West Mersea RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and the Essex Fire Boat.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Shortly before 11pm, police were called by a man who reported he had been tombstoning in the river with a friend and he was safe and well and the search was called off.”

See the MBS for the full story.