More than a Sinking Feeling in Brean Down, Somerset

Not a Good Place to Be At High Tide

Bream Down projects out from the coast of Somerset, England, and looks like an island when viewed from the ocean. The piece joining it to the mainland could be a marine ‘bench’ laid down when the sea level was higher. The tides around it are so lively there has been talk of using them to generate electricity. This brings us to the beginning of this story.


The Family Who Took their Car Rental for a Sail


During low tide it is possible to drive along the ‘bench’ to the island, and there are safety markers on either side. The BBC reports a family of four hired a rental car and decided to drive across to the island at low tide.

They were chilling out on the beach having left their teenage daughter in charge of the car. However, they were not to know the Severn Estuary has the second highest tidal range in the world. On this particular occasion, the height was abnormal and needless to say the water came rushing in fast.

The car vanished below the ocean as the water rose to the top of the beach. High cliffs enclosed it, although the family was fortunate to find some rocks to clamber onto away from the rising water. After they called for help the police arrived and secured the safety of the teenager, but not the hire car.

Meanwhile, the lasses and lads of Weston Lifeboats succeeded in rescuing the other three plus the dog, and bringing them back to safety. A coastguard spokesperson commented, “the family had been on the beach for quite some time and had become a ‘little cold’ due to the breezy weather.


Insurance Policy Help for the Unfortunate Family


The person named as hirer on the rental agreement is responsible for damage to the rental car. It seems they chose to drive on a surface unlikely to be either a sealed or an officially designated road. If this is the case, then any rental agreement waivers or insurance policies are void. So unfortunately, that sinking feeling came around twice.

We wrote this post to increase awareness that rental cars are for driving on roads and that’s about it. Rental car companies can get sticky about the tiniest of scratches or a water stain on the carpet.

It’s always safest to have your Pteet car rental insurance policy in your pocket, before you drive away in your temporary wheels. Then you will generally have cover, although not for winching the car up a cliff.

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Not a Good Place to Be At High Tide: Don Cload BY CC 2.0