A team of six firefighters from Essex travelled to Maidenhead this morning to assist national flood relief efforts.

A specialist boat rescue team from Leigh, led by Assistant Divisional Officer John Harris, left Essex at 6am and reported for duty at the national co-ordinating centre in Berkshire at 9am.

Resources have been drafted in from other parts of the county to ensure fire cover in Leigh is not impacted.

"The rescue effort has enough equipment and appliances but is short on relief crews," explained Senior Divisional Officer Gary Fleming. "We were asked to provide assistance and were happy to help. This is routine practice in a major incident where fire and rescue services country-wide will pool their resources to get the job done.

"The Leigh crew was chosen because of its capability in swift water rescue as a trained boat team. The Leigh boat has remained in Essex."