Car pulled from soft sand after driving off causeway to Holy Island

A farmer was called to haul out a car after it got stuck in soft sand. Credit: Colin Hardy

A farmer with a tractor had to haul a car from sand after it got stuck after driving off the causeway to Holy Island.

The driver had to be rescued after driving off the causeway and getting stuck in soft sand on Wednesday 16 August.

Signs nearby warn drivers not to go off-road as well as urging people to abide by the crossing times so as not to get caught by the high tide, which cuts the island off from the mainland.

Cllr Colin Hardy, who represents the Norham and Islandshires ward on Northumberland County Council, revealed he has seen drivers do the same for the past 60 years.

He said: “I started my working life at Beal Garage in 1965 as a mechanic. One of my first regular jobs was to pull people out of the sand.

A tractor had to be used to haul the car out of the sand. Credit: Colin Hardy

“Nothing has changed from 1964 – people are still stupid. They still drive on the soft sand. The only thing that has changed is the tractor has got bigger!

“There is signage up saying no off-road drivers. It’s common sense."

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Just after 1pm on Wednesday, police received a report that a car was stuck in the sand on the causeway of Holy Island in Northumberland.

“Police and partners attended, and the car was removed from the causeway a short time after.”

A spokeswoman for the coastguard added: “Holy Island Coastguard Rescue Team and Northumbria Police were sent to a report of a car reported stuck in the sand next to the Holy Island causeway at approx. 1:10pm on August 16. A local farmer was able to tow the vehicle free.”

In a separate incident on Tuesday 15 August, Seahouses inshore lifeboat was called to assist three people attempting to cross the Pilgrims Way at Holy Island.

The group were reported to be wading waist-deep through water on the foot track connecting the island with the mainland.

The lifeboat was called at 1:39pm - during the unsafe crossing period, which was between 1:30pm and 6:30pm on that day.

Pilgrims Way is only safe to cross at certain times of the day. Credit: RNLI

While on passage, the lifeboat was cancelled by the coastguard, as the walkers were safe.

Seahouses RNLI Volunteer Press Officer Ian Clayton said: "We ask walkers on the Pilgrims Way to heed the safe crossing times, as the tide can be an equal risk to them as it can be to motorists on the causeway itself, due to deep water and strong currents across the sands."

At the start of the month, the coastguard and the RNLI issued a warning to visitors not to take risks with the tide following a series of incidents throughout the year.

Two people were rescued from the causeway’s refuge box by the RNLI in June, while In May, a further four people were rescued by the coastguard after becoming stranded ‘waist deep’ on the causeway. Back in January, two people and a dog had to be rescued after being cut off by the tide.

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