A PLEASANT day by the seaside turned costly on Thursday when a £30,000 off-road vehicle got stuck on Whitby beach and was overtaken by the incoming tide.
The daytrippers from Middlesbrough had been attempting to launch a boat from the beach when the Mitsubishi Shogun they were using became stuck.
The incoming tide quickly surrounded both the 4x4 and a £12,000 boat trailer and the men within were forced to flee to the shore, leaving the vehicle behind.
It would have cost just £13.48 to launch the boat from Whitby harbour.
As each wave crashed into the car its horn would sound out, seemingy aware that its doom was near at hand.
Allan James Clarke, one of the passengers, said: “My mackerel sandwiches are in that car.
“We tried to launch it off here and we got bogged down.
“The tide has come in and we got stuck.”
The coastguard was called but was unable to recover the vehicle as there was no immediate risk to anybody involved.
Whitby coastguard’s Nathan Brown said: “They have come to launch off here but are not allowed to launch at this point.
“No persons are in danger and there’s nothing more we can do so we are going to leave it.
“It’s going to get washed away.”
With the emergency service’s hands tied, the vehicle’s owners called local company Coates Marine which sent along two tractors to drag the vehicle out of the sea.
Steve Goddard, tractor driver for Coates Marine, said: “Sea water and electrics just don’t go together.
“It’s stuck in park so all four wheels have locked.”
As crowds of onlookers lined the West Pier and the beach the two tractors were able to drag the 4x4 out of the water and onto the slipway.
A spokesmen for Coates Marine said: “We would normally charge around £100, but the price went up with it being in the water, we were told it was on the beach.
“We spent a lot longer there than we anticipated, the lads were away for over an hour and taken off jobs they should have been doing so it’s looking more in the region of £150 to £200.”
Safely back on land the true cost of the blunder was evident as the driver side door had been battered and practically snapped off, a number of windows had been smashed by the waves and the mechanics of the car had been badly damaged.
The boat was taken to Whitby marina until transportation back to Middlesbrough could be arranged.
A 43-year-old man from Middlesbrough was arrested at the scene.
He has been charged with failing to provide a breath specimen when in charge with a maritime vessel and using threatening words and behaviour.
He will appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court next Monday.