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Digger drowns in the sea at Sheerness

By John Nurden

A mechanical digger was left all at sea when it was drowned by an incoming tide.

The £150,000 machine was working on Neptune's Jetty at Sheerness when it broke down and was then caught out by the rising water.

The sorry sight was captured by Wayne Featherstone, 57, from Seager Road who was walking past at the time.

All at sea: the drowned digger at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness. Picture: Wayne Featherstone (7801772)
All at sea: the drowned digger at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness. Picture: Wayne Featherstone (7801772)

He said: "The workers were just looking on. They didn't look very happy."

The Environment Agency is rebuilding the jetty as part of a £1.19 million maintenance project to improve the Isle of Sheppey's flood defences.

It has already replaced part of the promenade at Sheerness seafront and work is continuing at Barton's Point to strengthen the seawall.

Digger trapped by the tide at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness (7809686)
Digger trapped by the tide at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness (7809686)

An Environment Agency spokesman said today: “One of our excavators broke down yesterday during work on the sea defences at Neptune Jetty in Sheerness and was caught by the incoming tide before it could be repaired.

“The digger was removed from the water overnight. There was no risk of pollution.”

The jetty first made headlines 44 years ago when Sheppey entertainer Michael Crawford used it to film scenes for the 1975 Christmas special of his BBC TV comedy series Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Picture: Barry Hollis (7810261)
Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Picture: Barry Hollis (7810261)

His character Frank Spencer was filmed driving his car off the jetty and into the sea

The jetty was also the first site for the Island's World Walking the Plank championships in 1997.

Sheppey's first World Walking the Plank championships held at Neptune Terrace, Sheerness, in 1997
Sheppey's first World Walking the Plank championships held at Neptune Terrace, Sheerness, in 1997
Digger trapped by the tide at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness (7809688)
Digger trapped by the tide at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness (7809688)
Building work at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness (7801774)
Building work at Neptune's Jetty, Sheerness (7801774)

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