STUCKER: Don't come unstuck when beach driving this Easter.
STUCKER: Don't come unstuck when beach driving this Easter. Car on Rocks at Rainbow

7 musts for beach driving this Easter

THE fate of a Rainbow Beach driver could have been much worse last Sunday, when their car became snagged on the notorious Mudlo Rocks.

The driver of the Nissan Patrol was trying to pass the exposed Mudlo Rocks, just south of Rainbow Beach, when he tried to turn in the shallow water.

When two waves quickly pounded the side of the car, the lack of traction lifted it onto the rocks.

He was able to walk away unharmed from the rising tide but his car required the assistance of Rainbow Beach Towing and Assist.

MUDLO ROCKS. Holiday makers watch as a vehicle comes to grief on the Mudlo Rock at Rainbow Beach.
MUDLO ROCKS. Holiday makers watch as a vehicle comes to grief on the Mudlo Rock at Rainbow Beach.

Business owner Carolyn Elder said while it was unfortunately a common sight, it was avoidable. In fact she said 70 per cent of the call-outs her Rainbow Beach business attended between Teewah Beach and Fraser Island were avoidable.

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Driving at high tide was one of the biggest mistakes beach drivers made, she said.

"Vehicles are often pushed into softer sand at high tide, which works the vehicle harder and can cause overheating,” Ms Elder said.

"Stick to harder sand at low tide.”

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Driving through deep water was also a big risk, she said. .

"It's a very costly mistake for just a bit of fun,” she said.

"People think the splashing is fine but water sprays into the essential components of the vehicle and once salt water gets into the engine it is ruined.”

TIPS FOR BEACH DRIVING THIS EASTER:

1. Watch tide times

Avoid driving around high tide, when vehicles are often pushed into softer sand, which works the vehicle harder and can cause overheating.

Stick to harder sand at low tide.

An unlucky car recovered from Mudlo Rocks at Rainbow Beach last Sunday.
An unlucky car recovered from Mudlo Rocks at Rainbow Beach last Sunday. Car on Rocks at Rainbow

2. Don't drive through deep water

A costly mistake for a bit of fun: if water sprays into the essential components of the vehicle and once salt water gets into the engine it is ruined.

3. Keep away from water's edge

Waves surging from the water's edge can cause beach drivers to lurch their car to avoid them. These kinds of quick, harsh movements on unstable sand can cause a car to roll.

4. Don't flog to max speed

Just because the speed limit on certain sections of the Cooloola Coast is 80km/h, doesn't mean you have to drive it. It is best to drive to conditions.

4WD's negotiate the Mudlo Rocks on the New Years long weekend at Rainbow Beach, braving the salt water. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times
4WD's negotiate the Mudlo Rocks on the New Years long weekend at Rainbow Beach, braving the salt water. Photo Craig Warhurst / The Gympie Times Craig Warhurst

5. Avoid wash-outs

Hitting creek crossings hard can cause suspension damage. These drops at these small crossings can be deceptive so use caution. .

6. Check for mechanical issues

Make sure the vehicle you are driving on the sand is mechanically sound before it hist the beach. Previous problems can be exacerbated by beach driving conditions.

7. Let tyre pressure down

For sand driving, tyres are best let down tobetween 18-22 PSI.

Gympie Times


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