VOLUNTEER lifeboat crews helped to save the life of a teenager spotted "floating and lifeless" in the sea off Clacton.

Clacton RNLI's D Class inshore lifeboat was urgently called into action by HM Coastguard after the girl, thought to be aged about 17 or 18, was spotted in difficulty on the west side of Clacton Pier on Thursday at about 4pm.

The call came shortly after Clacton's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was preparing to launch to respond to a Mayday call from a fishing vessel taking on water.

The crews quickly prepared to launch the D class, which found the casualty floating on their back and lifeless, about 100 meters from the shoreline.

Halstead Gazette:

Rescue - Clacton RNLI'S D Class lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Mark Walsham

The crew quickly positioned the lifeboat alongside the casualty, who was unconscious and not breathing, and recovered them into the boat.

The casualty was wrapped in blankets to prevent hyperthermia and transferred by three lifeboat crew members to Essex Ambulance Service paramedics waiting on the beach.

A spokesman for the crew said: "The paramedics immediately assisted the casualties’ breathing by use of a breathing tube and bag, which resulted in the casualty starting to breath again but continued to remain unconscious.

"After discussion between the paramedics and air ambulance doctor, the decision was made to transfer the casualty to Colchester Hospital for further treatment by road, so our crew assisted in the transfer of the casualty to the waiting ambulance.

“We are pleased that our volunteer crew were able to be on the scene quickly to recover the casualty, and transfer them to the care of the local paramedics, who were able to get the casualty breathing again, and we hope they make a speedy recovery.

Halstead Gazette:

Scene - the teenager was spotted in difficulty in the sea west of Clacton Pier. Picture: RNLI/Mark Walsham

"It is without doubt that our fast launch and arrival on the scene was a key contributing factor in the preservation of the casualties life, as was the support from all the agencies involved on scene.

"Whilst Clacton Pier is a fantastic place to enjoy our coast, we want to warn everyone to the dangers in and around the pier.

"In addition to the fast, strong currents and submerged hazards in the water we would urge everyone to stay safe on and around the pier."

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat found the fishing vessel one mile north of the North Eagle Buoy, off St Osyth.

The spokesman added: "The four occupants had managed to bail out all of the water taken aboard, and restarted their engine.

"Our crew escorted the vessel one mile east of the NAS beacon and left the vessel to continue their onward journey.

"Both crews were then stood down and recovered the boat back to the lifeboat station."