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Cars trapped by sand and rising tide

PUBLISHED: 13:17 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:48 03 July 2010

COASTGUARDS yesterday warned of the danger of taking cars on to the beach after two 4x4s became stuck in sand and submerged by the rising tide on the Norfolk coast.

COASTGUARDS yesterday warned of the danger of taking cars on to the beach after two 4x4s became stuck in sand and submerged by the rising tide on the Norfolk coast.

A party of friends were left wet and cold but unhurt after the incident at Scratby, near Yarmouth, on Saturday at around 6pm.

The coastguard was alerted and Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service was called to assist the group who had been enjoying an afternoon of off-road driving on the beach when the two Vauxhall Frontera vehicles became stuck.

Hemsby coxswain Adam Rossiter said he understood the smaller of the two vehicles first became stuck in soft sand.

“Once the tide starts coming in it turns like quick sand,” he said. “The second vehicle attempted to help with a winch but it too got bogged down and both became stuck.”

The two men and their friends made frantic efforts to free the vehicles but they were forced to abandon them as the tide came in.

Mr Rossiter said: “When we arrived we found a party of people who were very wet and cold. They had got out of the vehicles and had been trying to move them and after a while they abandoned them. Incidents like this are rare and fortunately no-one was hurt, but it could have been very different.”

He said the beach was not a place for off-road driving.

“You are not supposed to take your vehicles on the beach. For safety you need to go to a proper off-roading course. However, if you do find yourself in this kind of situation we would advise abandoning the vehicles.”

One vehicle was pulled out of the sea by tractor on Saturday night and the second was pulled free early yesterday morning.

Both are understood to have been written off.

Mr Rossiter said the friends, believed to be from the Norwich area and in their 20s and 30s, had been shaken by their ordeal and were upset about losing valuable property as one car contained about £1,000 worth of music equipment and amplifiers.

A coastguard spokesman said those involved would have been given advice.

“Once something like this happens it is very difficult to get the car back because of the strength of the tide and a tractor is needed,” the spokesman said.

“The coastguard does not recommend taking 4x4 vehicles on the beach. If you do get caught out by the tide get away from the vehicle and call us or the police.”


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