LIFESAVERS had to chaperone a man to shore after he refused to be transported in a lifeboat.

Southend RNLI launched a search for a man at about 6pm yesterday after reports gave cause for concern for the man, who was near Mulberry Harbour.

The RNLI launched its hovercraft to search the area by boat while a crew member also searched the mud area inside the harbour, but they couldn’t find the man.

The hovercraft widened the search and tracked the 34-year-old man about a third of a mile off the beach at Shoebury Common Slipway.

The man was fit and well but would not be ferried ashore by the hovercraft. A crew member accompanied the man to the beach where they were met by the coastguard and police.