A DRUNK man had to be rescued after he was found floating in the water in dangerous currents.

Experienced beach patroller Danny Aygling spotted the man on his back fully clothed, drifting under Clacton Pier about 50 to 70 metres offshore just before 6pm last Tuesday.

Losing sight of him as he went under the structure – which is dangerous to swim under due to hidden objects and strong, swirling currents – the Tendring Council beach patrol team launched a rescue board to find the man.

With crew member Darren Garrod on the board, assisted by Danny and Olivia Whyte on shore, the team located the man after a five-minute search midway through the pier.

The crew reported he was extremely intoxicated, freezing cold and struggling to keep his head above the water, and was fortunate to be on his back.

After taking the man to shore, he was checked over by a first aider and, apart from being intoxicated, was found to be otherwise unharmed.

He was asked to leave the beach area for his own safety.

Beach safety teams are now warning visitors to the seaside to respect the water and have issued a reminder that alcohol and the sea do not mix.

Alex Porter, Tendring councillor responsible for leisure and tourism, said while the Essex Sunshine Coast was a beautiful place to visit, the sea has to be treated with respect.

“This gentleman has had a lucky escape and I feel if our Beach Patrol team had shut at the scheduled time, the outcome of this incident could have been so different,” he Mr Porter said.

“The Beach Patrol do a fantastic job through the spring and summer to make our coastline and popular beaches as safe as they can be, along with our partners, such as the RNLI and the Clacton volunteer lifeguards.

“It is pleasing to see our beaches as busy in June as they would be in August, but people must respect the water and consider their own safety; we want to be giving advice, not having to rescue people.”

Due to the number of visitors, the patrol team remained on duty an hour later than scheduled each day as people soaked up the sunshine.

In July 2018, Ben Quartermaine, who was then 15, tragically died after being pulled out to sea under Clacton Pier. Efforts to save him failed and his body was found two days later.