Ice cream van whipped out to sea by rising tides

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A Coastguard Rescue Team was dispatched to a beach in Cornwall yesterday after an ice-cream van was swept out to sea by rising tides.

Rough waves flooded the vehicle’s interior with seawater and dragged it into the sea at around 5pm on Sunday afternoon at a beach in Harlyn Bay, near Padstow. The driver was not in the vehicle at the time.

Crowds of people waded into the sea in an attempt to stop the vehicle from getting washed away,but they were unsuccessful and the van was eventually claimed by the sea and dashed against some nearby rocks.

A tow-truck was called to the scene in an attempt to rescue the van, and photos from the scene show it being towed to safety once the tide had gone out.

An ice cream van was washed out to sea, Harlyn Bay beach, North Cornwall (Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS)

Witness Abi Fisk 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 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’.

The Kelly’s ice-cream van got stuck in the sand at the western end the beach as the tide began to turn (Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS)

She added: ‘Some people in the car park in a 4×4 tried to winch him out, but the front tyre had sunk 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 4×4 vehicle himself, so the lifeguards recommended he leave and they take over.

‘Not long after the 4×4 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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The van crashed against some nearby rocks (Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS)

‘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.’

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 5 yesterday afternoon (07 July) 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.

Several beachgoers attempted to pull it to safety (Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS)

‘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 the 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.’

One holidaymaker said: ‘The Kelly’s ice-cream van got stuck in the sand at the western end of the beach as the tide began to turn.

‘A 4×4 that had a winch that was close by tried really hard to pull it free with the help of lots of surfers and other people that were on the beach.

‘They managed to pull it a fair way up the beach while still surrounded by the incoming waves, before it got stuck on rocks.

‘The tide was coming in very quickly and they were forced to abandon the ice-cream van.

it was later toweds to safety when the tide washed out (Picture: Vintage Mary / SWNS)

‘Shortly afterwards the coast guards arrived.’

 which prompted the Coastguard and lifeguards to get involved in order to make sure nobody was at risk.

A police officer and firefighter were also spotted at the scene as the vehivlke 

A police officer and what appears to be a firefighter were photographed at the scene as the vehicle was pulled to dry land. It is not believed that anyone was injured during the attempted rescue.

were called, and confirmed they attended the scene in order to check on those involved.

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