A HEROIC holiday-maker sprung into action and saved a young girl from drowning yesterday.

Clive Chambers, 41, had travelled from London to Clacton for a much-needed break by the seaside.

Following a stay at the Lemon Tree Hotel, in Orwell Road, he decided to venture down to the seafront for an early morning dip at about 8.30am yesterday.

Shortly after arriving at a beach, to the right of Clacton Pier, Mr Chambers, who is a strong swimmer currently practising to swim the England Channel, heard someone screaming for help.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

He quickly noticed a 12-year-old girl struggling to stay afloat in a section of water off the shore - and the tide was quickly dragging her further out to sea.

After seeing her father desperately trying to reach her without success, Mr Chambers, who lives in Watford, leapt into action.

He recalled: “I heard screams and then I saw a girl bobbing in the water.

“At first I wondered if she was just messing about, but then I realised something was seriously wrong.

“Her dad had jumped in but he got tired and she was going out fast and so she just gradually peeled away from him.

“She was going under so I grabbed the floating ring and swam out to her and managed to pull her into the float.

“She was praying for her life so I told her to kick until we got back to the beach.”

After reaching safety, the girl and her father were checked over by paramedics who had rushed to the scene, before being taken to hospital for further care.

“The dad was stable and the poor girl had swallowed a lot of water and had blue lips,” added Mr Chambers.

“I was really shocked but the adrenalin got me through it, but then I started crying because I have a 12-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy myself.”

A spokesman for the ambulance service added: “Three ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance were called to Clacton seafront.

“Three people were assessed at the scene and a girl and a man were transported to Colchester Hospital.”

Read More: Girl taken to hospital after sea struggle in Clacton

The latest incident comes two years after siblings Malika Shamas, 14, and Haider Ali, 18, died from drowning and pneumonia after getting into difficult swimming near a groyne in a similar area.

Mr Chambers has now called for sea warning signs to be written in more languages.

“This family nearly lost their daughter because they could not read the signs,” he said. “We need to look after everyone so we can save lives.”