A teenage engineer won a race against time, saving £25,000 worth of vital machinery, belonging to independent lifeboat charity Maryport Rescue, from the tide.

The charity faced potential disaster when a hydraulics pipe burst on its Trak Tool vehicle and associated trailer while at Maryport South Beach.

Crew members of the water rescue service had launched a D-Class lifeboat in the sea on Wednesday as part of weekly training.

Seeing the threatening rise in water levels, Gary Hampson, deputy operations manager, made an urgent call to local engineering firm, Forth, at 8.30pm.

An unexpected saviour appeared in 17-year-old hydraulics engineer Luke Glynn, who braved the freezing weather and darkness to repair the machine in time.

Mr Hampson said: “When the Tool Trak and trailer stopped working, it felt like the worst case scenario as the tide was coming in fast and the machinery cost £25,000, and it would have been completely damaged if it had come into contact with the water.

“We are an independent rescue service which relies on donations from the public, and raising £25,000 to replace the machine isn’t very easy.

“We put out an emergency call to Forth and, within minutes, Luke was at the scene, and he set out to work fixing the problem in zero degrees temperatures and pitch black darkness.

“Nothing was a bother to him even though time was against him and the tide was coming in quicker than we expected. Not only did Luke fix the problem, he stuck around and followed us back to the station to make sure we didn’t experience any further problems.

“He is a credit to the area and to Forth, and we’re so thankful that he gave up his time so late at night, especially when it was as cold as it was, to do us a good deed. We can’t emphasise enough the value of his work because it would have been disastrous to Maryport Rescue if we were to be without such a vital piece of machinery.”

In response, the young engineer, who lives in Seaton, five miles away, expressed his appreciation for the life-saving volunteers at Maryport Rescue and considered his actions as simply lending a hand.

“I’m just pleased that I was able to help out such an amazing charity,” he said. “These volunteers go out and save people’s lives in freezing cold temperatures, so I didn’t think twice about helping them out even though it was cold and dark.

“As a company, Forth encourages its staff to support the community and help out local causes and initiatives, and I saw this as a way of giving something back to a brilliant organisation.”

Forth, the engineering firm employing Luke, has demonstrated similar community spirit as it recently won the Best Community Involvement Award at this year’s in-Cumbria Business Awards.

Maryport Rescue operates a swift water and rescue flood team along with its primary role as an independent lifeboat rescue.