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August 8, 2004
RNLI hits out at careless parkers who cost cost lives

The carelessly parked saloon carBurnham-On-Sea RNLI's lifeboat was prevented from returning to its station by motorists' careless parking in the road outside the station.

The lifeboat's trailer became stuck when it was unable to be moved between a carelessly parked trade van and a saloon car without causing damage.

Police were called and a community service officer authorised the moving of one of the vehicles, sufficient enough to allow the trailer to be moved through.

A white van blocks the passage of the lifeboat trailerStuart Nichols, a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police, said: "People who park irresponsibly, and cause obstruction to emergency services and other vehicles are liable to prosecution and may have their vehicles removed. The RNLI are an emergency service and should not have their access jeopardised by careless parking."

He added: "Parked vehicles causing obstruction are adding vital minutes to what could be lifesaving journeys. If a vehicle obstructs access to an emergency vehicle, police are able to authorise its removal, resulting in costs to the owner of the vehicle in excess of £100."

The 'no parking' sign which is frequently ignoredGerry Prout, a Burnham-On-Sea RNLI 'DLA' officer, said: "People are always parking in the road, despite signs asking them not to do so. This can cause serious delay to an urgent lifeboat launch."

Although today's incident was during a recovery operation, considerable delay of the boat being refuelled and returned to service was experienced.

This story resulted in plenty of media attention for the Burnham-On-Sea RNLI, as reported here.


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