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Family loses Jeep to the ocean at Mudlo

HEARTBREAKING: This Jeep Patriot which got stuck in soft sand at Mudlo Rocks on the weekend is the fifth this year to be ‘swallowed’ by the waves.
HEARTBREAKING: This Jeep Patriot which got stuck in soft sand at Mudlo Rocks on the weekend is the fifth this year to be ‘swallowed’ by the waves.

YET another vehicle was lost to the waves at Mudlo Rocks on the weekend.

What perhaps makes it harder for the family involved is that they were not sure whether it was safe to traverse the notorious strip of sand, so they asked someone, who it is believed was a local.

"Yeah, she'll be right," the hapless Brisbane man was told, so he took his Jeep across late Saturday afternoon.

The vehicle got stuck and by the time the Rainbow Beach Towing company arrived on the scene, the tide was almost upon it, and the situation was hopeless.

When a local tow truck company got to Mudlo Rocks late Saturday, the tide had been coming in for about two hours and it was too late to rescue a stranded Jeep Patriot.

"We managed to get the family's luggage out of the vehicle, but it was too dangerous to attempt to get the vehicle out," Rainbow Beach Towing and Assist's owner Dave Elder said.

Mr Elder and his wife Carolyn found accommodation for the family in Rainbow Beach for the night, while the man sorted out a hire car to take them back to Brisbane on Sunday.

"You feel pretty isolated when you don't know anyone and you lose your vehicle," Mr Elder said.

"The man was a bit panicky and upset, especially after being told it was safe to cross there," Mr Elder said.

Saturday's incident is the sixth stranding this year in which vehicles have been written off after being "swallowed" by the tide.

Mr Elder said the high number of incidents is the result of a lot of sand being stripped from the beach by cyclonic conditions early February, exposing the rocks more.

Drivers believe they are taking their vehicles across hard sand, but because of the low level, there is a lot of soft sand which vehicles get stuck in.

"As the sand slowly returns, the 'road' will become more accessible and easier to drive across," Mr Elder said.

"Unless we get more low pressure systems bringing big swells, the sand is returning and by the weekend, it should be fine to drive across."

In the meantime he urges anyone who becomes stuck to immediately call him, so he has time to undertake a rescue.

"What seems to happen is people try to get the vehicle out themselves, and by the time they realise they can't, the tide is almost upon them and there's no time left to get the vehicle out.

"They seem to think it will cost thousands to pull them out - but that's not so. It's a minimal amount, especially compared to losing your vehicle to the tide.

"And if you're not sure, take the other route - Freshwater Track - it may take a little longer but you'll get there safely."

Rainbow Beach Towing and Assist can be contacted on (07) 5486 8555.

2015 timeline

March 7

Jeep Patriot 'lost to the waves'.

March 6

A vehicle is bogged, but rescued.

March 3

A Jackaroo, Landcruiser and Rodeo are pulled off the rocks.

February 28

Holden Rodeo 'battered'.

February 24

Holden Jackaroo and Toyoto Landcruiser 'swallowed'.

February 10

Toyota Hilux 'stranded'.

Topics:  4wd mudlo rocks

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