Published: April 22, 2013
Pictured: Tractor 'drama' on Burnham beach turns out to be exercise

At first glance it looked as though this lifeboat launching tractor had got stuck on Burnham-On-Sea beach on Sunday morning (April 21st).

The tractor's huge wheels ground to a slippery halt after it was driven into a pool of mud near the town's lighthouse.

However, Burnham RNLI has assured onlookers that there was no need for concern because it was all part of a planned exercise.

The exercise was held to trial several new ground anchors that have been specially designed to help extract the tractor if it gets stuck in the mud without having to call on help.

The exercise was conducted by two RNLI Inspectors, who are responsible for all launch and recovery equipment within the organisation.

Burnham Lifeboat Operations Manager Ricky Holmes told "Firstly we had to get the tractor stuck, which we thought would be quite difficult, judging where we were on the beach opposite Allendale Road."

"In fact, we were amazed at how easily it became stuck, which just goes to show how unpredictable our beach can be. Once we were stuck we then employed the new anchors and included our Softrak tractor in the loop as well. Everything worked as it was designed to do, and slowly but surely, out she came."

"The one down side was that the inspector left us with a very dirty tractor to clean!"

Ricky added: "It was an excellent morning's work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the crew for all their hard work, especially with the wash down afterwards. Also thanks to the external agency who offered us help if we needed it."

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