Published: 11:53, 06 April 2021
| Updated: 12:01, 06 April 2021
A lifeboat crew has begged people not to park in emergency spaces for its volunteers - adding that doing so may one day "cost a life".
RNLI Whitstable made the emotive appeal on Sunday, after a number of its spaces were taken by cars belonging to members of the public.
In a post on Facebook, it wrote: "Those spaces may be empty and tempting, especially when the town is busy, but when the pager goes we have very little time to get to the station, get kitted up, brief the crew, fire up the boat, and get away.
"With sea temperatures like those off Whitstable casualties might not survive for long.
"Add to that a life-threatening bleed or severe trauma and the time available to us reduces considerably.
"We just can't spend time looking for a parking space. Today several of our spaces were taken by other cars.
"One day it may cost a life, that would be heartbreaking."
The post has since been shared more than a thousand times on Facebook, including by other local rescue teams such as Kent Search & Rescue, HM Coastguard Herne Bay, and RNLI Margate Lifeboat.
The latter added that it too has had problems with people parking in emergency spaces, sometimes right up to its station's doors.
The RNLI Margate Lifeboat team posted: "We usually ask 'would you park directly in front of a fire or ambulance station?'"