PATIENTS including a man suffering a suspected heart attack were cut off from emergency care on Mersea Island.

A particularly high tide, of 5.8m, kept The Strood flooded for hours with ambulances stuck on one side and four patients the other.

Emergency support had to be called in to help, including the coastguard, RNLI and air ambulance after it was decided if they couldn't reach them by land they would get there by air and sea instead.

Two patients were helped over The Strood by the RNLI, with support from a paramedic and the coastguard, and into waiting ambulances.

Another had to be air-lifted off the island.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said they had received several calls while the island was cut off.

He said: “We had ambulances on the way but the island was isolated and they could not get across.

“We were called to deal with several incidents.”

The first involved a man aged in his 60s with severe chest pains who may have been having a heart attack, in Kingsland Road.

A doctor with a defibrilator was helping to treat him but, with every minute becoming more crucial, the decision was taken to airlift him off the island for urgent medical attention.

He was taken to Basildon Hospital for treatment at the specialist cardiothoracic centre.

Another man, aged in his 80s, was suffering from a severe sickness.

A paramedic in a rapid response car, based on the island was treating him at the scene.

The coastguard was called to help and the man was transferred by boat into a waiting ambulance to be taken to Colchester General Hospital.

There were also two nasty falls with one woman aged in her 90s and another aged in her 80s injured in separate incidents.

A community first responder helped the older lady, who had a cut on her head, before taking her for treatment at a doctor’s surgery as an ambulance could not get across.

The woman aged in her 80s was also transferred, with the help of the RNLI, off the island and into an ambulance before being taken to Colchester General Hospital.

The incidents took place between 1pm and 5pm with one of the highest tides of the year reaching its peak just before 3pm yesterday,

Senior Locality Manager Gary Baines, from the ambulance trust, said: “I want to thank the ambulance crews and our colleagues in the other emergency Services for their efforts in ensuring all of our patients got the help they needed during the high-tide.

“More often than not we are fortunate enough to avoid the high tides, however we do have measures in place, such as the community first responder group based on the island.

"We also utilise the help of the coastguard along with the regional air ambulance team as and when necessary to ensure our patients are responded to as quickly as possible."