Holy Island tourists 'driving into North Sea'

Car under water on Holy Island causeway A couple had to abandon their hire car when water swamped the causeway

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A lifeboat volunteer says it is "quite bizarre" that tourists continue to try to drive on a tidal causeway outside safe crossing times.

It follows the rescue of an Australian couple who became stranded on the Holy Island causeway, off Northumberland.

That rescue was the eighth Seahouses RNLI crew has carried out this year.

Ian Clayton, from the Seahouses station said: "It's incredible that people seem to think they can drive their cars into the North Sea."

In the latest rescue on Thursday the couple had to abandon their hire car to the incoming tide and make their way to the causeway's refuge shelter.

Insurance claims

Ian Clayton said: "It's all so preventable.

"None of those who are caught out are locals, it's always people who are visiting the area.

Danger sign The Holy Island causeway is under water twice every 24 hours

"They all seem to think it's not their fault, but they've totally ignored warning signs on both sides of the road.

"It's quite bizarre."

Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne, is a popular tourist destination attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Mr Clayton said: "A couple of years ago islanders specifically warned a man to leave the island before the tide came in, otherwise he would get stuck.

"He pooh-poohed it, saying it was just something to frighten tourists, but half an hour later he was hanging onto the roof of his car and his wife was up to her chest in water, clinging on to their two children."

He added that sea water entering the engine would mean that the car would have to be written off.

"In one recent rescue a man had a virtually brand-new BMW," he said.

"You do wonder what people put on their insurance claim forms in such cases."

Satellite image of Holy Island and causeway

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