Tides eat British Teenager’s Car

Every day, without fail, the tides go in and out. While some people fail to understand why they rise and fall, others just completely forget that they exist at all. Like this teenager in Burnham-on-Sea in the UK who apparently decided to park as close to the water as possible during low tide. I can imagine colorful language that erupted when he came back to his submerged car 6 hours later at high tide.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6I_GMgo9bk

Now you may think, well this was just a folly of youth. Think again, three MORE cars needed to be rescued later that week! And never forget the great Car Smorgasbord of 2009, where 5 cars where devoured by the slow crawl of an incoming ocean that day. Bristol Channel, where Burnham-on-Sea is located, is home to some of the largest tides in the world. This creates enormous mudflats that sometimes even people get stuck in and need to be rescued from the incoming tide.

Horses, proving they are the best way to explore the beach.

For some reason, the local authorities seem regularly bust out the heavy machinery to rescue these swamped automobiles. Perhaps it’s to save the cars from total devastation and mitigate potential toxic fluid spills. But I have to ask, why not just wait 6 hours until the tide recedes again?

 

Kim Martini (84 Posts)

Kim is a Physical Oceanographer at the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2010. Her goal in life is to throw expensive s**t in the ocean. When not at sea, she uses observations from moored, satellite and land-based instruments to understand the pathways that wind and tidal energy take from large (internal tides) to small scales (turbulence).





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5 comments on “Tides eat British Teenager’s Car
  1. Why not wait 6 hours? Because the ‘sand’ is mostly mud/silt and even the sand higher up the beach is soft enough with the incoming tide that in 6 hours time, the car will be embedded in the sand and will still require heavy machinery to remove. The beach between Burnham and Brean Down is littered with the metal skeletons of cars that didn’t get pulled out and were left to rot. While still accessible, a tractor is enough to do the job. 6 hours later, you’ll probably need a digger as well as the tractor and it won’t be guaranteed.

    … sometimes even people get stuck in and need to be rescued from the incoming tide. And sometimes they’re stuck so badly that even in the 21st century they can’t be extracted from the mud and drown in the presence of the rescue teams.

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