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RNLI saves itself from trouble

By Denise Eaton

WHITSTABLE lifeboat station is now fully up and running after the lifeboat’s launching carriage was left stranded on Friday night.

An attempt to rescue the lifesaving equipment began after the carriage and tractor ran into problems following a call to a broken down motor cruiser off the coast of Herne Bay.

The rescue equipment was left stranded in soft mud 1200 yards from the lifeboat house.

Crews rushed to save the stricken equipment and the lifeboat was placed on restricted service throughout Saturday.

Whitstable Lifeboat’s operations manager Mike Judge said: "Overnight divers had managed to separate the carriage from the tractor and the lifeboat was able to tow its still submerged carriage ashore.

"The circumstances of this incident are wholly exceptional in that we encountered an extremely low tide which meant that the tractor had to traverse very soft areas of the foreshore that are almost never exposed by the tide

"This was an excellent operation by our volunteer crew members and meant that the station was fully operational again an hour after we commenced the recovery".

"The tractor remains offshore and will require a crane lift from a barge and that has been arranged for later in the day."

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