ESSEX fire service are urging motorists to use "common sense" after they rescued a man perched on the roof of his truck after he had driven into fast-flowing flood water.

The man was attempting to go along Cow Watering Lane, in Writtle shortly after 2pm on Thursday.

But his new four-wheel drive VW pick up truck quickly became submerged in the two-foot-deep flood water which fire crews described as "fast flowing".

He was eventually rescued just before 3pm, using a water rescue sled.

Earlier in the day, firefighters were called to another motorist who had got his van stuck in FIVE foot of flood water in Mountnessing Road, Ingatestone.

The service has since called for motorists to use "common sense".

A spokesman for the Service said: "It is vital that motorists exercise a little common sense. We are experiencing one of the wettest Januarys on record and over the last six weeks we have been called to dozens of incidents in which people have driven into flood water.

"Just driving into water and hoping for the best is not an option, by the time you find out the water is too deep you are already trapped.

"Just two feet of water is enough to float a car and six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.

"When confronted with flood water the best thing to do is to find an alternative route. If there is no way round they should park safely and get out to check the depth of the water before they drive into it."

Chelmsford Weekly News: flood rescue ingatestone

The van caught in floodwater near Ingatestone