THE Coastguard helped to save several young lives as the south Essex beaches were packed out during the hot weather.

Southend, South Woodham and Canvey Coastguard rescue teams were called into action as a string of youngsters required assistance.

After a six-year-old girl went missing having last been seen at Thorpe Bay beach, Southend and South Woodham’s teams joined Essex Police in the search.

The police helicopter was also tasked with searching through the large number of people along the seafront.

Thankfully, the girl was found by the police and returned to grateful parents.

While on the scene, the Coastguard Operations Centre were told two teenage boys were missing at the Mulberry Harbour and Southend RNLI’s lifeboat and hovercraft were launched.

As the hovercraft was making its way to the Mulberry Harbour, a further report came in of a 19-year-old female in difficulty in close proximity to Southend Pier.

The hovercraft was diverted back towards the pier for the search while members of South Woodham’s Coastguard was then re-tasked to head to Southend’s inshore boathouse should any further assistance be required.

Southend lifeboat found the missing teenagers and a number of other people at the Mulberry Harbour before advising them all to start making their way back to shore.

The Southend hovercraft collected its casualty and returned her back to the inshore boathouse to the awaiting Coastguard rescue and RNLI shore teams.

The hovercraft team ensured everyone safely returned to shore from the Mulberry Harbour as the tide turned and continued to come back in.