Cracks in launch ramp at new Exmouth RNLI HQ
PUBLISHED: 14:33 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010
EXMOUTH'S new RNLI £1.6million seafront boathouse has been hit with techincal problems the recently-installed concrete lifeboat launch ramp was found to be cracked. The solid concrete beams of the launching ramp, where a tractor will tow the Mersey-clas
EXMOUTH'S new RNLI £1.6million seafront boathouse has been hit with techincal problems - the recently-installed concrete lifeboat launch ramp was found to be cracked.The solid concrete beams of the launching ramp, where a tractor will tow the Mersey-class carriage boat across the beach to the sea, had been in place for several months but last week were removed after it was noticed cracks had appeared.The removal of the concrete slabs took place in the same month it was planned to complete the remainder of the ramp, extending it on to the beach by a further 10 metres.The RNLI said the cracks had 'caused concern' and the design had now been modified.The charity said the setback was not expected to hamper the boathouse's expected spring 2009 completion date. Adam Littlejohn, RNLI shore works manager for the south, said: "A specific issue that has caused concern surrounds some of the pre-cast concrete beams that are being used to form the access ramp on to the beach. "Cracks have been detected in several of the beams. The design has been modified and the affected elements removed. "These are being replaced at no cost to the RNLI and with little effect on the construction programme." The cracked beams could be seen last week stacked up against the sea wall before they were removed by a local construction company.The concrete launch ramp had been one of the first jobs to be carried out in the boathouse development.After large concrete and metal pillars were buried and secured in concrete deep into the sand, more concrete was prepared and laid to form all-weather lifeboat ramp to ensure the boat could be launched whatever the state of the tide.Mr Littlejohn said: "The RNLI is pleased with the development of the new boathouse, which will be a purpose built asset that the town can be proud of. "It will feature new environmental systems not used in such projects before, and allow Exmouth RNLI to house all its lifeboat facilities in one area.