A LIFEBOAT crew was called to concerns a person could be in the water after an unattended surfboard was spotted by beachgoers.

One of Harwich RNLI's launch authorities was on Dovercourt seafront with family members and spotted an unattended surfboard or paddleboard off the Stone Pier area on Thursday, June 20.

A Harwich RNLI spokesman said: "Without hesitation, knowing it was entirely possible a person may have become separated from the board, the alarm was raised."

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 3.15pm to the reported position of the board.

A presence was maintained on the seafront to ensure the coastguard was kept updated on the position of the board, and the inshore lifeboat could then be directed quickly to the position.

A search pattern was carried out around the area to ensure it was covered thoroughly and efficiently.

Then a shoreline search was carried out.

After nearly two hours of searching and with nobody found or known to be missing, the lifeboat was stood down and released to return to station.

The board was also recovered.

Deputy Launch Authority John Reason said: "I had no hesitation in calling it in.

"An unattended board of some kind immediately raises the question of where is the person that it belongs to?

"Are they safe or in difficulty?

"In the RNLI we try to raise awareness on knowing who to call if something doesn’t look right, the importance of calling 999 and asking for the coastguard.

"I raised the alarm which triggered the process for the launch of the lifeboat as an unattended board is a big concern."