EMERGENCY services including lifeboat volunteers and the police were called out to investigate reports of a body being found.

Harwich RNLI was paged at 5.30pm on Sunday, April 16, by the UK Coastguard and requested to assist Essex Police on marshes at Stone Point in the Walton Backwaters.

A decision was made to launch both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats to assist in ensuring the safe transport of police officers to and from the scene.

A spokesman for Harwich RNLI said: “Whilst the charity’s lifeboats were proceeding to the rendezvous point of Titchmarsh Marina, the Police obtained the assistance of another boat to take them to the reported scene.

“Both Harwich lifeboats stood by to assist if required. The Police, once on scene, identified the body as that of a seal.

“On this discovery, both lifeboats were released from their task, and returned to Harwich.”

Arriving at 7.30pm, the lifeboats were washed down, cleaned and refuelled in readiness for the next callout.

A spokesman for Essex Police added: "We received a call from a member of the public at 4.48pm on Sunday 16 April, reporting the finding of suspected bones at Walton-on-the-Naze.

"Officers attended alongside HM Coastguard and noted the remains appeared to be that of a seal.

"The bones were collected and booked in at Clacton police station for further examination.

"They were confirmed by experts as seal bones.”