A GROUP of young people was rescued by lifeboat after their dinghy began drifting out to sea.

The three people, believed to be in their twenties, were spotted by a member of the public drifting out to sea from Southend on an inflatable at about 6.30pm.

After calling the Royal National Lifeboat Institution from an emergency telephone, an inshore lifeboat was dispatched to take them back to the shore, where they were met by the Thames Coastguard.