TWO men had to be rescued from the sea after getting into difficulty while rushing to the aid of two women and child in trouble under Clacton Pier.

Clacton RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat following reports of multiple people in the water in difficulty shortly after 6.30pm on Sunday.

The volunteer crew discovered the men had gone into the water to rescue two women and a child on what had been a busy day on beach due to the hot weather.

The trio had managed to get to safety themselves without the aid of the men.

Half of the Holmbrook Coastguard Rescue Team also rushed to the scene to assist the lifeboat crew after helping to lift a beachgoer, who had suffered a dislocated knee, over the seawall at Martello Beach Holiday Park at Point Clear, St Osyth.

A spokesman said: “As the teams were setting up for the lift we got an urgent request to go to the beach at Clacton Pier following reports of multiple people in the water in difficulty.

“Half of team proceeded to the new task leaving the rest to continue with the casualty extraction.

“On arrival at Clacton Pier the inshore lifeboat from RNLI Clacton Lifeboat had already rescued two casualties from under the pier.

“The two gentlemen had gone in to rescue two women and a child who had originally got in to difficulty but managed to self recover.

“One of the men had reportedly swallowed a lot of sea water.”

All the casualties were walked to waiting ambulances with none thought to have life-threatening injuries.

The spokesman added: “While the urge to rescue someone in difficulty in the water can be overwhelming at times, this was a reminder that in doing so can put your own life at risk and mean there are more casualties in the water needing rescuing and medical treatment.

“Calling 999 and requesting the Coastguard while shouting for multiple life rings to be thrown from the pier could have had a better outcome in this incident and meant more people would have had life-saving buoyancy instead of attempting a rescue without any.

“Many thanks to the first informant who did throw a ring down and called the coastguard when they saw people in trouble.”