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Man rescued before car swallowed by surf

UNDERWATER: This 4WD was a tragic sight for its owner who misjudged the tide.
UNDERWATER: This 4WD was a tragic sight for its owner who misjudged the tide. Contributed

AN UNFORTUNATE driver had to be escorted from his four-wheel drive on Wednesday night before high tide at Rainbow Beach swallowed it up.

The man found himself trapped on the notorious Mudlo Rocks, linking Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point, as high tide approached, a problem several drivers have faced in the past few weeks.

Tin Can Bay police Senior Constable Jason Griffin said the unhappy driver had to be removed from the Mitsubishi Pajero when it couldn't be moved before the water crept up.

By the following morning the car was completely submerged.

Rainbow Beach Towing and Roadside Assist owner Dave Elder recovered the car the following morning after waiting for the sea to release its grip.

Mr Elder said it was the third recovery at the rocks he had been called to in two weeks.

While one risky driver was lucky to have their car towed before high tide hit, the other two were consumed by Rainbow waters.

"It's very tragic, especially when they don't have insurance," he said, explaining there was little that could be rescued from a car that had been flooded by sea water.

DROWNED: A Mitsubishi Pajero was flooded after it became trapped at Mudlo Rocks on Wednesday night. Crews recovered it Thursday morning.
DROWNED: A Mitsubishi Pajero was flooded after it became trapped at Mudlo Rocks on Wednesday night. Crews recovered it Thursday morning.

He said the losses were the result of people taking "unnecessary risks" and not paying attention to conditions.

But the good news for weekend coastal adventurers is that the sand has returned to the Mudlo Rocks, so driving them - with caution of course - should be all right.

The conditions are a vast improvement on the past two weeks, after a swell exposed the rocks, making them more difficult to traverse.

Drivers should have about an hour-and-a-half either side of low tide this weekend to safely cross the rocks, and Mr Elder reminded them to only cross in daylight.

Beach safe

Dave Elder has plenty of experience driving at Mudlo Rocks and here are his top tips to safely traverse the stretch of beach:

Call the recovery crews before heading out and ask about the condition of the rocks;

Don't drive the rocks on the incoming tide;

Never drive at night as it's difficult to judge what you are driving on.

Topics:  rainbow beach stranded surf

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