A young father had to have his car pulled off Towan beach in Newquay by a tractor after it got trapped in the sand.
The unknown driver had parked his car on the beach after driving down the slipway to avoid parking charges. He then decided to go for a stroll with his partner and young baby before returning to the car and attempting to leave.
But the car had sunken into the sand and refused to budge despite numerous attemps from the driver and locals. To make matters worse the tide was coming in fast, and there were serious concerns for the safety of the family.
One witness who had just been surfing on his lunch break saw the whole incident unfold and captured it on film.
John Barkham from Plymouth described what he saw:
“I’m working down here at the moment and I was on a break and came down for a quick surf.
“As I was coming out, this car was driving down. It stopped at the top of the road for a bit, but I guess it wanted to get closer.
“As I got to the top of the hill he had decided to drive it down on to the beach and then he was stuck.”
Mr Barkham said that he, along with around ten other beach-goers tried to help pull the car from the sand but it “wouldn’t budge”.
He added: “There was loads of people down there trying to help him, he was stuck for a good half an hour or so. There was at least ten of us, but it just wouldn’t budge, it wasn’t going anywhere. Everyone was taking photos and videos and saying they were going to put in on Youtube.
“The sea got to just over the wheels, then a surfer came back down in a van and tied a rope on to try and get him out, but the rope snapped.
“He had driven down right on to the sand, his family had got out of the car and had a little walk around the beach.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before. It was unbelievable.”
According to Mr Barkham the driver was then said to give up and started unloading his car, accepting that it would soon be covered by the rising tide.
“He tried to get out and just started sinking deeper and deeper,” Mr Barkham said.
“He had given up by that point, he’d started getting all the stuff out of the boot.”
But help arrived in the nick of time.
“Then a tractor pulled up, just in time because the sea was coming in and it was already covering the wheels of the car,” added Mr Barkham.
“He’s all smiles now. It was ridiculous, complete stupidity. I guess he didn’t want to pay for parking.”