Somerset

Matting laid to aid RNLI boat launches at Burnham-on-Sea

Up to 164ft (50m) of matting is being laid on a Somerset beach to enable lifeboats to launch at low tide.

Crews at Burnham-on-Sea are currently having to push boats through mud up to a metre deep to get to the water, according to the RNLI.

The mats, made of linked planks, are being laid on muddy sections of the RNLI's launch route.

Nigel Jones, from the charity, said: "Being able to launch 24/7 is a high priority for us."

The RNLI lifeboat station in Burnham, operational since 2003, operates two boats but launching them at low tide has been hindered by "really sticky mud".

"We've been looking at various methods to overcome this problem for the past 10 years," said Mr Jones.

"Hopefully the bog mats will provide a sound footing for any track or wheeled vehicle which wants to use them."

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