February 12, 2018
Stranded car emerges from mud on Brean beach after three tides

The owner of this car will be getting a sinking feeling that it will never be retrieved after being engulfed by the incoming tide at the weekend.

As first reported here by, crews from Burnham Coastguards and BARB Search & Rescue were called to Brean beach at 11.55am on Sunday after the beachwarden initially raised the alarm, seeing the vehicle stuck in mud.

The five people inside the Honda Jazz were led to safety by rescuers, but the vehicle could not be saved before the rapidly-incoming tide submerged it.

"Since then, three tides have covered it and the vehicle is gradually sinking deeper and deeper into the soft sand and mud," a local resident told

A recovery vehicle was seen at the beach on Monday but it was not equipped to pull the vehicle out of the mud.

Coastguards issued a warning following the incident, urging motorists to stay clear of soft sand and mud, and to check the tide times.

Beachwarden Dave Furber said: "They had driven down the beach to the tide line to try and see the sea. When they hit the softer part of the beach the car's wheels sank into the sand and mud and the vehicle became trapped."

The beachwarden contacted the Coastguard, and two teams from Burnham Coastguard and BARB Search & Rescue were sent to help.

"Two of the Coastguards made their way out to the vehicle to help the family of five inside safely back up the beach. The tide was coming in fast and the vehicle was such a long way that it was going to be difficult to pull it free in time."

BARB's Spirit of Lelaina II rescue hovercraft flew to the scene and the team assessed the viability of winching the vehicle free. "Due to its angle and its distance from the hard sand it wasn’t safe for us to pull it free," said a BARB spokesman.

A local farmer used a tractor to try and reach it, but he also found the terrain too difficult and had to abandon attempts, as pictured below.

"The vehicle was left to the incoming tide since this was the safest option and all persons were out of danger."

Dave Welland, Burnham Coastguard Officer, said: "The car's driver, who is from Bristol, said that he'd driven on several beaches where the sand was firm and assumed that all beaches were therefore the same."

"At Brean, there is only 3-4 inches of thin crust of sand before it becomes mud. What may be firm to walk on will not be hard enough to drive across. Thankfully they only lost their car and we don't have five casualties."

It's the third vehicle this year that BARB has been called to on local beaches. Two campervans were rescued in separate incidents on Berrow beach last month, as reported here.


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