Essex stranded dinghy pair in hospital

Two men were taken to hospital after they were rescued from their dinghy stranded on mud at low tide off the Essex coast.

The men, both aged about 60, had been stuck 500m from Goldhanger near Maldon for "some time" when the fire service was called at 16:45 BST.

Crews brought one man back on a rescue sled and towed the other in the dinghy through shallow water.

Both were taken to hospital by RAF helicopter at about 18:25 BST.

Station officer John Harris, who attended the incident, said: "Both men had been exposed to the elements for some time and one appears to have fallen in the water at some stage so was wet, extremely cold and showing signs of suffering hypothermia.

"Fire crews worked with the coastguard and a paramedic to ensure that the men were stable and to bring them and their boat closer to shore.

"We took the decision to winch them into the helicopter 200m from shore, because that way the helicopter would not stir up as much debris as it would on dry land as it hovered."

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