A LIFEBOAT crew was sent on a rescue mission after a mayday call was intercepted by an amateur radio enthusiast.

The radio buff heard a transmission on a non-maritime frequency mentioning the area of Alresford Creek and saying “mayday”.

He informed coastguards, who sent Clacton’s lifeboat to the area.

The volunteer crew checked the creek and searched along the river using white illumination flares and night vision equipment.

But nothing was found and the call was considered to be a false alarm.

The crew left the station just after 6.30pm on Thursday.

They called off the search and returned to the station at 8.10pm.