A stranded digger had to be rescued from rising seawater in a "race against time".
The machine was working on the beach at Snettisham, Norfolk, when it became stuck in mud at about 18:30 GMT on Monday.
Coastguards enlisted the help of two heavy duty off-road winches to drag the digger to safety.
Robert Tear, from the recovery firm, said in another hour "the water would have been over the top of the digger".
"We've had to rescue three or four excavators from beaches around The Wash recently and that's unusual," Mr Tear said.
"In 26 years we have done many of these recoveries but you can go for years without any," he said.
Hunstanton Coastguard said the driver of the digger, who had been working on stabilising the sand on the beach, was safe.
It said a Rescue Team was sent "to provide safety advice and cover while the vehicle was recovered".