A CHILD was inches away from falling off Clacton Pier, a family claims.

Oscar Weston, aged 20 months, was playing at the seaward end of the pier when he came close to a gap in the fence preventing people falling into the waves.

His granddad Mark was watching and called out to Oscar, before rushing over to block off the gap with his leg and taking him away.

The accident was a result of vandalism on the fence.

Mr Weston, 54, said: “Oscar is well-behaved and luckily he stopped when I shouted across to him.

“If I hadn’t been able to put my leg across he would have drowned."

Vanessa Smith, marketing manager at Clacton Pier, said: “In between regular daily checks an incident was reported to a ride operator regarding a hole in the fence of the pier perimeter.

“Once notified maintenance staff attended the area and carried out repairs immediately."

Read the full story in this week's Clacton Gazette.