TWO submerged cars had to be retrieved from the sea by a lifeboat crew when they became swamped by the tide.
The first call to Redcar RNLI came at just before 3.20pm after coastguards received 999 calls reporting a car trapped in the sea with two people seeking safety on its roof, on the beach near the Majuba car park.
The station’s inshore lifeboat was launched and on its arrival at the scene its crew found that the trapped people had made their own way to safety on the beach, one of them sustaining a small hand injury.
To avoid the owner attempting to recover the vehicle himself in the face of the rapidly rising tide, and to avoid pollution from the vehicle’s fuel tank, the lifeboat launching tractor was used to pull it clear of the water.
As the crew were standing down from this incident, further calls were made to the coastguard reporting that the driver of a second vehicle had got into difficulties while trying to recover a speed boat onto its trailer near the Marine Club at South Gare.
The lifeboat relaunched, but on arrival its crew discovered that the driver was safe ashore and the vehicle was being rapidly submerged by the tide.
Dave Cocks, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar RNLI said: "Launching and recovering boats, whether it’s from the beach or a slipway needs the right vehicle, a good understanding of what the tide is doing, and plenty of practice.
"Unfortunately it’s proved a very expensive afternoon for two car owners. Fortunately, apart from a minor hand injury, no one has come to any real harm today, but the consequences could easily been much more serious.
"And with some of the highest tides of the year right now, today couldn’t have been a worse day for this to happen."