THESE dramatic photos show the moment an 80-tonne boat grounded - on a lifeboat slipway.

The massive vessel balanced on the narrow pedestrian slipway leading down to the water's edge, after it ran aground on Tuesday.

The landing vessel was stuck for several hours next to Knightstone Island, in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, as it waited for a coastguard team to free it at high tide later that night.

And the Weston-super-Mare Coastguard Rescue Team shared the tale of the unusual rescue, which finally took place just before 10.15pm.

Posting on their Facebook page, the coastguard team wrote: "Most of you will have seen or heard about the Severn Sins RoRo Ship that got grounded on Knightstone Slipway.

"With this evening's 12.2m high water at 22:13, the plan was to refloat her.

"Word had spread and a large crowd was gathering, which unfortunately posed a rather dangerous situation.

"The vessel would be using engine and winch power to clear its predicament - a tensioned winch cable is not something you want to be near if it should snap.

"With this information, we were requested by Harbour Master Webber to attend and assist him, the Weston Seafront Rangers and Avon and Somerset Police in making sure all spectators were at a safe distance.

"Some of the team were prepped with life jackets just in case the vessel listed and any crew fell overboard.

"Fortunately, a textbook operation took place, high water hit the hull, the engines fired up and the winch gently hauled, and within minutes she was back where she belonged.

"Well done to all involved and thank you to all the spectators for being so understanding - this is not a sight that Weston sees very often!

"This goes to show us coasties don’t just deal with 999 emergencies, we are there for anything coastal."

The boat, named Severn Sins, had arrived in Weston-super-Mare the day before, on Monday, from Falmouth, Cornwall, carrying machinery to help restore the dilapidated Birnbeck Pier.

And the Birnbeck Regeneration Trust posted on Facebook that, despite the slight hold-up, work is continuing at the Pier today.