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Search and rescue teams are currently involved in a frantic search for Southend Seafront’s Cliff Lift after a ‘brake failure’ saw the iconic carriage fly off the end of the funicular rails, roll across the road, slip into The Thames and float off towards Kent.

According to the latest sightings, it is possible that the four occupants and one operator have reached Zeebrugge, a port on the North coast of Belgium.

Earlier on, we managed to make contact with one passenger on a mobile phone.

Michelle Garridge fought back the tears and said, ‘We just hit the SS Montgomery wreckage, and although it started making a weird hissing noise we are pretty certain that no damage has been done.’

‘Once we were around five miles from the coast of Southend, we floated past a group of teenagers out for a walk. Twats.’

Local historian Clifford Leeft told us that the lift’s carriage was actually originally designed to be submersible.

He added, ‘When the Cliff Lift first opened in 1892, the engineers knew that something like this might happen, and that’s why the base of the carriage is watertight.’

‘It was designed by Sir Humphrey Clungenugget to be a mobile viewing station for the many fantastic arses that can be spotted jogging up and down the steps that run alongside it.’

‘The original layout included four partitioned areas where gentlemen who could afford five shillings could lay back and knock one out.’