This dramatic image shows how two young motorists fought in vain to save their car from a fast-incoming tide at Brean on the Somerset coast.
The two young men from Taunton, who had hired the car for the day, waded out in a last-ditch attempt to save their vehicle after its wheels became trapped in mud on the beach next to Brean Down. The area's famously welcoming flat beaches are also notorious for the speed with which the tide can race in.
This Ford Fiesta, engulfed by the waters on Saturday evening, was the sixth vehicle to get stuck on local beaches in a week. Burnham Area Rescue Boat, the locally-based rescue charity, was called to help at 6.10pm when the car and its occupants were spotted in difficulty almost half a mile out on the mudflats Barb crewman Norman Templeman waded into the water to check on the safety of the two men.
However, the car was stuck fast in the mud and the call for help had come too late for it to be pulled from the sea by Barb's tractor and volunteer crew members. Barb chairman Mark Newman said: "We would never recommend that people get into the water to try and reach a vehicle – the currents in the Bristol Channel are very powerful."
The car's occupants were unhurt but shaken after the incident.
Beach warden Ron Sharrad said: "People who drive their vehicles on to the beach must remember that the Bristol Channel is very tidal and if they park their vehicle on the sand they should check the tide times."