FOUR people were saved by the coastguard in a dramatic rescue after a large jet ski crashed.

The West Mersea Coastguard Rescue Team were called to East Mersea on Saturday morning after the smash.

Four people were saved from the water.

One of them was believed to have been in a critical condition until the rescue team intervened. They were then left in the care of the ambulance service and taken to hospital.

Lifeboat crews and a rescue helicopter were scrambled to the scene.

A spokesman for West Mersea Coastguard Rescue urged people to respect the water if they were going to use vessels such as jet skis.

He said: “The team were tasked along with East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust to four casualties at East Mersea who had fallen from a large jet ski.

“One was at first critical until handed over to the ambulance service.

“The sea is unforgiving but we will always live by the motto of ‘to search, to rescue and to save’.”

At least three people have died on the UK’s coastline this summer because of jet ski accidents, with RNLI bosses recommending a life jacket is used at all times when riding them and a kill cord installed, which can instantly cut power.

However, there is little regulatory control over their use meaning children as young as 12 could be permitted to hire them from some rental outlets despite how high powered the engines can be.

Colchester Council has a bylaw which enforces an eight knot speed limit on the waters around Brightlingsea, Mersea Island and the River Colne.

People who flout the regulations can be prosecuted and end up in magistrates’ court.

The West Mersea Coastguard Rescue Team were also called out on Sunday after reports of flares floating in the water close to the island’s hammerhead jetty.

The team are no longer able to dispose of out-of-date flares, but have offered advice as to where is best to put them.

A spokesman said it was vital to get rid of them properly: “Never dump flares in household rubbish, garden waste or public litter bins.

“This is not a safe way to dispose of them, bringing risks to yourself and your family and to those who move and dispose of such litter.

“Also, remember it is an offence to dump flares at sea.”