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March 20, 2005
Hovercraft rescues 4x4 and jet ski from treacherous mud

Relieved Craig Morgan with his 4x4 landrover on Burnham Beach

A Vauxhall 4x4 and a £5,000 twin-seater jet ski were rescued by Burnham-On-Sea's hovercraft team on Saturday March 19th following a dramatic incident in the mud near the town's beach lighthouse.

Craig Morgan from Coseley in the West Midlands was enjoying the unseasonally warm temperatures, jet skiing in Bridgwater Bay when he became stuck on a mud bank just off Gore Sands.

He waded in across the mud for almost an hour in order to attract help. With the tide receding fast, a local lifeboat inspected the scene but was unable to get close enough and the Burnham hovercraft was therefore called out at 4:20pm.

Burnham HovercraftWithin minutes, the team's three-seater craft - which is currently on trial - flew to the scene.

The crew attached a buoy and anchor to the jet ski and, as the machine was stuck fast, they decided to leave it in the mud overnight.

Two hours later, however, the incident took a twist when Mr Morgan attempted to drive out across the mud in his Vauxhall 4x4 to try and recover the jet ski himself - and the vehicle became stuck.

"Shortly after 18:30 we got our second call of the evening when we were alerted that a 4x4 had became stuck in the mud near the lighthouse," said Alan Miller, Chairman of the Burnham-On-Sea hovercraft.

"Our recovery tractor was immediately sent to the scene from Burnham and, using a combination of sand spades to anchor it and strong winch wire, we managed to free the vehicle."

The jet ski was left in the mud overnight and was successfully floated off the mud bank at the next high tide on Sunday March 20th.

Mr Morgan praised the hovercraft team, saying: "I'm very grateful to the hovercraft crew for their swift action. It could have been an incredibly depressing - and expensive - weekend but fortunately there was no damage to my jet ski or the 4x4."

The incident is the second such call-out this year for the Burnham Hovercraft. On February 1st, the crew rescued a Mitsubishi Shogun from the mud near the town's lighthouse.


Stranded vehicle rescued from mud by hovercraft crew

Beach safety guide for Burnham, Berrow and Brean

Official Burnham Hovercraft Web site home page




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