Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

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April 16, 2006
Stranded vehicle pulled from sea by Burnham's hovercraft crew

Burnham-On-Sea's hovercraft crew came to the rescue of four jet skiers whose van had become stranded in the sea on Sunday, April 16th.

Crowds of Easter holidaymakers lined the town's seafront to watch the incident after the Volkswagen van's wheels became stuck in mud as its owners tried to load two jet skis onboard near the town's jetty.

With one person trapped inside, the vehicle was quickly engulfed by the fast-incoming tide and its owners were unable to free it.

Burnham's hovercraft crew were called to the scene and used several lengths of rope tied to their rescue truck to pull the stranded vehicle free. It later emerged that one of the jet skiers had been trapped inside after the van's doors dead locked.

The owner of the vehicle, Matt Blakeman, 25, from Clevedon, said: "The van got stuck on a bank of mud and wouldn't budge. Within a few short minutes, the tide quickly engulfed the van and we were facing big problems."

"Fortunately, the hovercraft crew were close by and quickly came to our rescue, pulling the van out by a combination of pulleys and ropes."

"We're very grateful to them - I'm convinced that without their help, we would have lost the van altogether."

The rescue was co-ordinated by hovercraft crew members Pete Emery and Andy Croker, who are pictured alongside a relieved Matt Blakeman.

Relieved Matt Blakeman thanks BARB's Pete Emery and Andy CrokerIt is the fourth incident in just a week involving stranded vehicles along a five mile stretch of coastline between Burnham and Brean Down.

Last weekend, an Audi was rescued by Coastguards on Burnham beach; on Wednesday a builder's truck became briefly stuck in sand near Maddocks Slade in Burnham; and in the middle of the week a Range Rover was lost in thick mud at Brean.


Video footage of the van in the waves

Video footage of the van being pulled from the sea

Official BARB Web site home page


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