A three-day operation led to a 'bomb' being discovered on Southend's beaches.

The beach near Uncle Toms Cabin, was closed for a number of hours today after a suspected bomb was spotted on the shoreline.

This came after days of reports of a suspected ordnance sighting off the coast were sent to Southend's Coastguard team.

But due to incoming tides and other operations, the teams did not remove the item on Sunday or Monday.

The coastguard say the tide covered the item on Monday, but due to another incident, they failed to remove the suspected bomb on both days.

The team returned today and discovered the now known to be a marine mooring item washed up on the beach.

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A spokesman for the coastguard, said: "The first informant gave an approx location opposite some beach huts and between a couple of mooring buoys in the locale just off the beach buried in the mud which was approx. a foot long and a few inches in diameter.

"On Sunday July 12, the Southend Coastguard team attended on scene to search for the suspected ordnance but when they arrived on scene the incoming tide had covered the location hindering further inspection.

"Then followed strict protocol for dealing with suspected ordnance at a safe distance, taking pictures and measurements and any additional information such as markings which was then sent back to Dover Coastguard.

"Dover Coastguard then forwarded the pictures to Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams for their evaluation.

"While that evaluation was in progress on Monday the incoming tide quickly covered the suspected ordnance.

"While on scene the Coastguard Rescue Team were then alerted to another urgent incident caused by 2 people cut off by the incoming tide one mile out from shore

"With the tide now covering the suspected ordnance the team were then stood down.

"Southend Coastguard would then check if the suspected item remained in place (which it had) and to then request the Army EOD team to attend from their Colchester barracks.

"Whilst waiting on the Army EOD team to arrive on scene the Southend Coastguard team put in place a safety cordon across the beach and mud flats to ensure the area was secure from members of the public for their own safety and create a safe working environment for the Army EOD team."

A spokesman for Essex Police, said: "Yesterday we received reports of an item which had been washed up on shore in the area of Shoebury.

"All teams worked together with the item eventually being removed for the location.