AN investigation is underway after an RNLI tractor became submerged at New Brighton.

The embarrassing incident happened close to Marine Point during a launch training exercise on Tuesday.

An RNLI spokesman told the Globe: “New Brighton’s tractor was submerged while launching the lifeboat during a training exercise yesterday.

“The driver, who is an experienced and competent volunteer, followed the correct evacuation procedure and fortunately is safe and well.

“The tractor is amphibious and as such is designed to be submerged – all RNLI equipment has to be capable of withstanding difficult and challenging conditions.

“The tractor was recovered and taken away so that any damage can be assessed and repairs carried out.

"It is far too early to say what damage has been sustained or what the cost of any repair will be.”

The representative added: “A replacement tractor was taken to New Brighton yesterday and was on service the same evening.

“The RNLI will be carrying out a full investigation into the circumstances of the incident and until that has concluded we will be unable to give any more details.”

In July, twelve of New Brighton’s lifeboat crew members were suspended and the station temporarily closed after an acrimonious dispute with managers over safety and new training regimes.