Royal Marines have used landing craft to recover 50 cars trapped in a Calstock after a landslip on Christmas Day damaged the only access road into the Cornish village.
Cornwall County Council (CCC) asked the Royal Navy for assistance to move residents’ cars after the collapse of the retaining wall cut off road access into the village on the banks of the River Tamar.
Devonport-based 1 Assault Group Royal Marines took the vehicles from the village and off-loaded them at the National Trust’s Cothele Quay slipway.
“This kind of operation is nothing new to the Royal Marines,” said 1 Assault Group Royal Marines commanding officer colonel Garth Manger. “We train to move vehicles and personnel by landing craft on and off beaches and slipways like this. We do this for combat scenarios and for disaster relief and similar humanitarian reasons worldwide.
“This is not strictly a humanitarian issue, but it is a great opportunity to put our skills to good use – helping the community on our doorstep and also helping refine the results of our training.”
CCC is currently assessing the landslip and has not made any statement yet about how long repairs will take to complete. Residents of Calstock claim that the road started to fail in June 2013 and the issue was reported to the council but no action was taken.