Moment holidaymaker is forced to watch as his car sinks into sand

Moment ‘idiot holidaymaker’ is forced to watch helplessly as his car sinks into sand at Weston-Super-Mare and is washed away by the sea

  • Tim Curtis, 61, spotted the helpless driver watch his van sink into the sea
  • Driver had attempted to get vehicle close coastline when the tide came in
  • Images showed van submerged in the water with just the top half protruding 

An ‘idiot holidaymaker’ was forced to watch helplessly as his van was washed away by the sea after he attempted to drive his vehicle close to the coastline.

Hobbyist photographer Tim Curtis, 61, had been heading down the Weston-Super-Mare beachfront when he spotted a seven-seater Ford stuck in the sand and decided to capture the moment on camera on August 14. 

His images showed all four of the vehicle’s wheels sinking into the sand while the helpless driver stood nearby on the phone and the tide drew nearer.

Just moments later, the van submerged in the depths of the water, with just the top half of the vehicle protruding from the waves.

The holidaymaker was forced to watch helplessly as his van began to sink into the sand at Weston-Super-Mare beach on August 14

The helpless driver stood nearby as the the tide drew nearer and his seven-seater Ford was washed away by the sea

Hobbyist photographer Tim Curtis (pictured), 61, from Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset,  had been heading down the beachfront when he spotted the van and decided to capture the moment on camera

Coastguards were called to the car on August 13 when Mr Curtis claims he was told the holidaymaker attempted to drive too close to the sea to give his child a closer look.  

The disgruntled owner returned the following morning when the tide had gone out, but he was unable to recover the vehicle and Mr Curtis said it was still there on Sunday night – more than four high tides since it was first stranded.

The construction contract manager explained he has ‘no sympathy’ with the ‘idiot’ because he didn’t read the warning signs about on-beach driving and he hopes the man is forced to ‘pick up the recovery bill’.

Mr Curtis, from Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, said: ‘He deserves it. I have absolutely no sympathy. 

‘Most normal people would wait for the tide to come in, not go out to the tide. The water is a quarter of a mile away and this idiot decided to drive out to it.

‘I can’t believe it. After about 100m of the beach it’s soft mud, but he kept traveling about 200m before he got stuck. Nobody can believe he drove that far.

‘I’ve got a 4×4 and when I go off the sand, the ground gets a little bit softer. Anyone with a brain would reverse back. It’s common sense.

‘There’s loads of signage on the beach. I knew it wasn’t a local. It had to be a holidaymaker, and it was.

Mr Curtis claims he was told the holidaymaker had attempted to drive close to the sea to give his child a closer look when the vehicle became stuck 

Images showed the van submerged in the depths of the water, with just the top half of the vehicle protruding from the waves

‘Some people will do anything for a free car wash, but it’s not recommended.. I don’t think his insurance company will be very happy.

‘There’s signs on the beach saying ”please don’t park beyond here” but nobody apart from the locals take any notice. You can’t put up signs for idiots. 

‘I just feel sorry for the people that have got to pull the car out. I hope they give him the bill.

‘It’s definitely a right-off now the salt water has got in the brakes.

‘Getting it out [of the sand] isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s a lot of weight to pull and they’ve got to wait for the right moment because the tide comes in.

‘He must’ve given up on Friday night and come back on Saturday. The coastguards who spoke to him on Friday said he was driving out to see his kids.

‘When the water came close, it washed the sand from the wheels and made the car tip to the left. It was still there on Sunday.

‘The bloke just walked away once the tide came in. I don’t know where he went but he probably went to clear his head somewhere.’ 

Somerset coastguards have had to rescue numerous holidaymakers who drove too close to the water this summer.

Weston-Super-Mare Coastguard Rescue Team were called to the scene to reports of a vehicle stuck in the mud. They said the owner was making arrangements to recover the vehicle and a rescue team have not been involved since

Mr Curtis said people who live near the coast had grown annoyed at the ‘lack of common sense’ shown by British holidaymakers and that they must begin to heed the warning signs.

Matt Greatorex, Weston-Super-Mare Coastguard Rescue Team station officer, said: ‘We were called on Friday at 19.30 to reports of a vehicle stuck in the mud.

‘When we arrived the tide had turned and was now flooding, however all occupants had successfully made it back to the beach and were being looked after by the beach rangers.

‘Our main concern was that no persons were in any immediate danger. We gave some safety advice to the occupants, and ensured the public were safe. Once the tide had come in around the vehicle we stood down.

‘The owner was making arrangements to recover the vehicle, and as a rescue team we have not been involved since.

‘Our advice would always be to take notice of local danger signs, check the tide times, and if you see someone in difficulty in the mud call 999 and ask for the coastguard.’ 

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