Beachgoers haul abandoned ice cream van from sea in Cornwall

Beachgoers attempt to haul the vehicle to shore (Vintage Mary Stroud)
Beachgoers attempt to haul the vehicle to shore (Vintage Mary Stroud)

Beachgoers hauled an abandoned ice cream van from the sea in Cornwall after it was washed away by an incoming tide.

A video shows a group of people wading through the sea at Harlyn Beach to rescue the Kelly Whip ice cream van from the water on Sunday afternoon.

Richard Higman, who filmed the incident, told Sky News that the van had been selling ice cream to beachgoers before it was swept away.

He said: “The driver had apparently off-loaded the ice cream, when the tide came in over the van and swamped it.

“A load of people on the beach got a rope and tried pulling it and got nowhere.”

He added: “When the tide went out, a farmer went down with his tractor and put a rope on it and towed it up the beach.”

Abi Fisk, who runs the Vintage Mary store in Padstow, said she had witnessed a 4x4 with a winch trying “really hard to pull it free”.

A group of beachgoers wading through the sea at Harlyn Beach to rescue the van (Vintage Mary Stroud)
A group of beachgoers wading through the sea at Harlyn Beach to rescue the van (Vintage Mary Stroud)

She said that “lots of surfers” and other people on the beach had tried to help.

Padstow Coastguard said that crew members and RNLI lifeguards attended the incident at around 5pm on Sunday to “ensure the safety of those involved” in the rescue.

"The driver was safe and well and not in the vehicle," it said in a statement.

"The owner arranged a recovery vehicle which recovered the van at around 9.45pm when tide receded enough for it to be safe to do so.

"Coastguard rescue officers left once the vehicle was recovered and in a safe location."