T.V.L.B. Callout Gallery

8th March 2008 - 14.00hrs

Recovery of a North Tyneside Council Van Washed Off the Causeway, St. Mary's Island

HM Coastguard paged the Brigade after a member of the public dialled 999 and reported that a vehicle was trapped on the causeway at St. Mary's Island with concern that someone may still be trapped inside it. Along with paging the Brigade, the Coastguard also deployed the Rescue Helicopter from R.A.F. Boulmer which was on a training exercise in the local area. The first Brigade member on scene found that the vehicle, which was a North Tyneside Council van which had been taken across to the Island to empty the bins, was in fact empty and the driver was safe ashore and so his attention switched to trying to recover the vehicle which now had water lapping around its wheels, two of which had slipped off the causeway.

Assisted by three local lifeguards, the Brigade member attached a rope to the van and an attempt was made to pull it to safety. This failed and a second rope was then attached to the van which was then attached to a four wheel drive vehicle which again attempted to pull the vehicle back onto the causeway, again without success. By this time the council van was partially floating and it was deemed too dangerous to continue to have people in the water alongside a large moving object. The Brigade then stood by the vehicle as safety cover until the tide lowered which allowed a recovery vehicle to attend and remove the now submersed and over turned vehicle.

The photos shown belown were taken by Adrian Don and Brigade Member John and are used with their permission.

Although a line was attached to the van, attempts to pull it ashore were unsuccessful.
And it wasn't long before all that was visible was the roof of the van.
It was clear that the van was unlikely to ever work again but, as it posed a danger to shipping should it have 'sailed' out to sea, plans were put in place to effect its rescue.
However, with no chance of recovering the van until the tide dropped, Dan, Harvey, Dave and Michael enjoyed a bite to eat on a cold winters afternoon.
The van eventually fell onto its side.
From wetness to dryness (right to left!) Harvey, Captain Dave, Dan, John and Captain Michael 'attempt' to pull the van ashore!
But that doesn't last long as the lads, particularly the captains, decide it will be too much like hard work!
The van drifts ashore with the Lighthouse standing proud as the sun begins to set on an afternoon of excietment.
With Dave and Michael looking on, Harvey inspects the cab of the van to see if the C.D. player still works.
With the van now ashore, Brigade member John recovers the line as members of the public who had stayed on the Island to watch the rescue return to the mainland.
Slightly bemused Recovery Truck Driver arrives on scene and prepares to recover the council van.
Brigade members look on as the van is tipped back onto its wheels.
Close up of the van once it had been put back onto its wheels - showing that it hadn't faired too well after an afternoon's dip in the North Sea.
After an inspection by the recovery truck driver, the van was eventually loaded onto the truck and taken away presumably for a meeting with the scrap man.

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