A council had to urgently repair defective concrete in a seafront slipway used by lifeboat charity the RNLI.

Redcar and Cleveland Council feared the slipway off the Esplanade at Redcar could become unusable, cutting off access to the beach, and set aside £14,000 for the works to be carried out by a private contractor.

The aim, as detailed in council papers signing off the spending, was to “ensure safe access for all including the RNLI lifeboat which deploys in emergencies at sea”.

The defective concrete has now been removed and replaced with specialist ‘aquatic mortar accelerated’ concrete said to be suitable for use within the marine environment.

The council document said: “By allowing the slipway to further deteriorate will result in [it] being unusable for many groups of people and most importantly the RNLI…by accessing water in emergencies from this slipway.”

The RNLI was not asked by the cash-strapped council to contribute to the repairs undertaken.

Contacted about the matter, a spokeswoman for the charity said the council owned the slipway and was responsible for its repair and maintenance.

She said: “As we use the slipway the council did consult with us prior to and during repairs.”

A council spokesman said: “The seafront slipway is a council asset and any repair and maintenance are the responsibility of the local authority.

“The slipway is not solely used by the RNLI, but is also used by local fisherman and the general public.

“The work on the defective concrete has been completed on time and within budget and the RNLI, who deploy the lifeboat when there are emergencies at sea, were not asked to contribute to the repairs.”

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The RNLI has previously warned motorists about parking cars on the slipway and in 2017 called police to incidents in which the route to the sea was blocked.

In one extreme instance a car was driven onto the beach using access from the slipway and then had to be abandoned and later towed away after it became overwhelmed by rising tidal waters.

In another incident in 2021, a man required treatment for head and spinal injuries after falling down the side of another slipway further down the Esplandade near to the Redcar Beacon.