Ice cream van washed out to sea at Harlyn Bay beach in north Cornwall

An ice cream van was washed out to sea on Harlyn Bay beach in North Cornwall. Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNSAn ice cream van was washed out to sea on Harlyn Bay beach in North Cornwall. Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS
An ice cream van was washed out to sea on Harlyn Bay beach in North Cornwall. Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS | Vintage Mary / SWNS
An ice-cream van was washed out to sea after getting stuck in sand as the tide came in.

The Kelly’s got stuck at the western end of Harlyn Bay beach, North Cornwall, as the tide began to turn on Sunday.

Despite multiple attempts to pull the van out of the water, the tide was too strong, and it was left swirling against the rocks.

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Images were captured of the incident at around 4pm by holidaymaker Abi Fisk, who runs Vintage Mary store. She said she witnessed a 4x4 with a winch close by trying "really hard to pull it free" when it was first swept into the ocean.

Abi explained how 'lots of surfers' and other people on the beach attempted to help. She said: "They managed to pull it a fair way up the beach while still surrounded by the in coming waves, before it got stuck on rocks."

As the tide was coming in 'very quickly' the group were forced to abandon the van, and shortly afterwards the coast guards arrived.

Abi, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, added: "The coastguards will keep watch over ice-cream van until the tide goes out and a local salvage team that are on standby can remove the ice-cream van from the beach."

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The ice cream van in the sea at Harlyn Bay beach, North Cornwall Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNSThe ice cream van in the sea at Harlyn Bay beach, North Cornwall Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS
The ice cream van in the sea at Harlyn Bay beach, North Cornwall Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS | Vintage Mary / SWNS

Abi described the whole incident as 'very strange' and something that had 'come out of an end of the world film'.

She said: "The driver of the ice-cream van drove straight down the the bottom of the beach - to the lowest point of low tide. The beach was packed - it was the first proper summer beach day we have had in a couple days now, so it was a gorgeous day and he probably wanted the business. But then the tide started coming in, and he couldn't drive off

“Some people in the car park in a 4x4 tried to winch him out, but the front tyre had sank into the sand. So they even tried to tow the van whilst it was stuck in the sea, but then it got completely wedged in some rocks.

"The guy nearly lost his 4x4 vehicle himself so the life guards recommended he leave and they take over. Not long after the 4x4 abandoned the ice cream van, the coast guards were keeping watch: observing it and making sure it didn't go out any further, and no one swam out to it.

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"As you can imagine it was the best entertainment for everybody on the beach! Everyone stood there in amazement!

"Even the surfers started surfing past the van - it was quite surreal and it looked like one of those end of the world films - where the Statue of Liberty is peeping out from the ocean and you have ice cream vans bopping about in the water. Then last night at around 10pm, a local tractor driver got it out and that was that."

The ice cream van bobbing around in the sea off Harlyn Bay beach, north Cornwall Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNSThe ice cream van bobbing around in the sea off Harlyn Bay beach, north Cornwall Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS
The ice cream van bobbing around in the sea off Harlyn Bay beach, north Cornwall Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS | Vintage Mary / SWNS

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said the van owner arranged for a recovery of the vehicle at around 9.45, when the tide was low enough for recovery.

They said in a statement: "Just before 5pm [on Sunday] HM Coastguard was made aware of an ice cream van that was caught by the tide at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall. Padstow Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI Lifeguards were sent to ensure the safety of those involved.

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"The driver was safe and well and not in the vehicle. The owner arranged a recovery vehicle which recovered the van at around 9.45pm when tide receded enough for it to be safe to do so. Coastguard rescue officers left once the vehicle was recovered and in a safe location."

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