Lifeboat Tractors, by Nigel Williams

Most people in the U.K. are aware of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and its amazing volunteer-operated maritime rescue service funded entirely by donations - there is no other service like it anywhere else in the world. And if most people were asked about how the lifeboats get into the sea when they set off on a rescue mission, they would probably be aware of some of the impressive lifeboat-houses around the country, from where the boats are launched in spectacular fashion at high-speed down a steep ramp; and they might think that most of the rest take off from a permanent berth in a harbour, perhaps.

But what about the situations where neither of these solutions can work - places that have a shallow approach to the sea, without a harbour or anywhere deep enough to launch or permanently berth a lifeboat? This is where the lifeboat tractor comes in - a specially-engineered and astonishingly capable machine designed to take the lifeboat on its wheeled carriage out of the lifeboat-house, down onto the rough beach, and into the sea to a point where it is deep enough to release the lifeboat from its carriage and into the water.

The development and current state of these specialised machines - half tractor and half submarine - is documented in detail in this well-illustrated book by technical author and researcher Nigel Williams.

Currently in development

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