Motorists urged to heed beach warning signs

The Vauxhall Frontera was engulfed by the sea after becoming stuck in mud in a ‘vehicle free zone’ on Brean beach last Tuesday. Photo: BARB.

The Vauxhall Frontera was engulfed by the sea after becoming stuck in mud in a ‘vehicle free zone’ on Brean beach last Tuesday. Photo: BARB.

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MOTORISTS are being urged to pay attention to huge safety signs on Burnham and Brean beaches after three cars became trapped this month.

On Sunday a Nissan 4x4 became stuck on Burnham beach while trying to retrieve a jet ski next to the jetty. The front wheels of the vehicle sank into the sand and a crowd of people had to lift it free.

A Vauxhall Frontera was engulfed by the sea after becoming stuck in mud in a ‘vehicle free zone’ on Brean beach last Tuesday.

Brean's beachwarden raised the alarm and the team from BARB were quickly on the scene. However, the soft sand around the 4x4 made it impossible for other vehicles to get close enough to pull it free - a JCB digger and two trucks had to turn back due to the conditions.

On Friday, July 11, a Ford Focus estate was also overcome by the tide when its owner walked along Brean Down to explore the fort. The beach warden was unable to find the owner while the high tide came in.

Head beach warden Dave Furber told the Weekly News: “Our beaches are perfectly safe, but drivers need to pay more attention to the many signs we put out warning people of a high tide.

“One of the vehicle owners said he had seen the warning signs, but admitted he had not read them properly.

“But the situation’s improved, because years ago we might attend 20 incidents on a bank holiday and now we might get two.

“When in doubt, just shout. Beach wardens patrol the area and can be contacted on 07774 284891 until 8pm. After then, dial 999.”

A spokesman for the coast guard said many people don’t realise that if their car gets stuck on the beach, their insurance will not cover the damage.

He added: “When people take their £35k vehicle on the beach and it gets covered by seawater, that’s a lot of money they’re not getting back.

“We are there to rescue people, not vehicles, so if you get stuck you also have to pay to get the vehicle recovered - even a 4x4 can become stuck in soft sand.”

Beach wardens hand out safety leaflets to everyone parking on the beach. Click here.

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