Guernsey marine ambulance off water after gearbox fails

Flying Christine III, Guernsey's marine ambulance
Image caption The marine ambulance is used to transport passengers from Sark, Herm and visiting cruise liners

Guernsey's marine ambulance has been taken out of service after its gearbox failed.

The Flying Christine III was taken out of the water after an oil leak was found on Saturday.

It is the only marine ambulance of its kind in the British Isles and responds to emergencies across the Bailiwick.

Jon Beausire, St John Ambulance and Rescue Service chief officer, said the back up was "tried and tested".

Image caption The Flying Christine III was one of 1,000 vessels that took part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

He said in an emergency the lifeboat would be used with a paramedic and medical technician joining the RNLI crew.

Mr Beausire said the "bulk of the work", which involves patient transfers from Sark, Herm and sometimes visiting cruise ships, would be done by three private vessels.

About £100,000 was spent on new engines for the vessel in 2011 shortly after it had suffered another gearbox failure. Mr Beausire said the two issues were not related.

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