Tractor helps lifeboat plough the waves

Lyme Regis lifeboat station’s a shiny new tractor with volunteer mechanic Mark Gage in the cab and Lifeboat Operations Manager Grahame Forshaw on the slipway at the harbour. Photo by Richard Horobin Lyme Regis lifeboat station’s a shiny new tractor with volunteer mechanic Mark Gage in the cab and Lifeboat Operations Manager Grahame Forshaw on the slipway at the harbour. Photo by Richard Horobin

Thursday, July 10, 2014
9:10 AM

Converted farm vehicle will give Lyme Regis RNLI crew a push towards the sea

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A converted farm tractor is set to help save lives…at sea.

With massive tyres, 85 per cent filled with water, there is no way it will float – but it can tow Lyme Regis lifeboat across the beach so it can quickly reach sailors in distress.

Weighing six-and-a-half tonnes, the shiny new converted farm tractor will be used to push the lifeboat out to sea at low tide and pull it back ashore and into the boathouse after a ‘shout’ or exercise.

The new machine replaced the old Ford County tractor which had been based in Lyme Regis for 12 years.

Volunteer tractor mechanic Mark Gage said: ”We are delighted with the new tractor. Normally a tractor is taken away for refurbishment after ten years, but because the crew in Lyme Regis really looked after the old 1974 machine we kept it longer.”

The new former agricultural tractor has a special metal case fitted over its body so that it can be taken out in deep water with the driver protected.

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