Van swamped by the tide on Holy Island causeway

Two people had to abandon their van when it became swamped by the tide on Holy Island causeway.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 7:38 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th March 2019, 8:43 am
The partially submerged van on Holy Island causeway.
The partially submerged van on Holy Island causeway.

Seahouses RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was on a training exercise at the Farne Islands at 3.09pm today, when the UK Coastguard tasked the crew to go to the assistance of a motor vehicle, on the causeway.

Two occupants had managed to reach the refuge box after abandoning the vehicle.

Seahouses RNLI at the swamped van.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew found a horsebox-type campervan partially submerged. The occupants, who were foreign nationals, spoke very little English, and were rescued from the refuge box and landed safely on the mainland side, where they were handed into the care of local coastguard officers.

Coastguard units from Seahouses and Holy island had also been mobilised.

Seahouses Lifeboat operations manager Ian Clayton said: " We suspect that language problems may have contributed to this incident. Fortunately both vehicle occupants were safely brought ashore and neither required medical assistance."

Safe crossing times for today were from 8.20am to 1.50pm, with the causeway unsafe to cross again until 8.50pm. High tide was 4.20pm and it was a high spring tide.

The lifeboat approaches the van.

Drivers continue to be caught out by the tide on the causeway. Tide times and flasing warning signs are clearly posted on both the mainland and island.

Two years ago, dramatic aerial footage followed two drivers ploughing through the sea to cross the causeway, an hour after the safe crossing time, which promoted fresh warnings from Coastguard rescue teams.

The van was partially submerged by the high spring tide.