May 20, 2005
Sticky end for multi-terrain vehicle’s test on Burnham-On-Sea beach
Burnham hovercraft group’s trials of a six-wheel multi-terrain vehicle came to a sticky end on the town’s beach on Thursday (May 19) when the machine became trapped in the mud.
The £6,000 vehicle was being put through its paces along Burnham’s shoreline by its makers, Wiltshire-based Westland Special Vehicles, when it became stuck in mud.
The two-seater Max II buggy is one of several vehicles being tested by BARB, the group that runs Burnham’s hovercraft, in the run-up to the expansion of its rescue services to cover inland waterways later this year.
But Thursday’s test did not go to plan. The hovercraft group’s tractor was called into action to pull the vehicle free from the notorious mud.
Adam Reeves of Westland Special Vehicles said: “We wanted to give it a proper test and see whether it would survive Burnham’s ‘super mud’.
“Unfortunately, this vehicle didn’t – the mud here is quite unique – but with tracks fitted to the wheels, I’m sure it would just glide over the top. We’re planning to come back again soon.”
The vehicle has been in production since 1969 and thousands have been sold around the world to areas where there are difficult terrains.
Alan Miller, Chairman of BARB, said: “It’s a versatile vehicle that’s very easy to drive and although it didn’t survive our test, it actually handled the mud much better than we thought it might. We were taking it to the extreme,” he said.