Tractor trapped in Exe Estuary for three days after getting stuck during beach clean

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 September 2018

A tractor stuck in the mud on the Exe Estuary. Picture: Ian Huxtable

A tractor stuck in the mud on the Exe Estuary. Picture: Ian Huxtable

Picture: Ian Huxtable

A dramatic scene unfolded in Exmouth earlier this week after an RSPB tractor got stuck in sand during a beach clean and ended up completely underwater.

A tractor stuck in the mud on the Exe Estuary. Picture: Ian HuxtableA tractor stuck in the mud on the Exe Estuary. Picture: Ian Huxtable

On Monday afternoon, a stricken tractor was finally freed from the Exe Estuary after a routine litter pick left it stuck in sand for three days.

The coastguard was called on Saturday afternoon, after reports of people trying to ‘dig’ the huge vehicle out of sand in the estuary – despite imminent danger of the rising tide.

But repeated attempts to shift the tractor proved a wash-out throughout Saturday and Sunday and it remained in situ and submerged in seawater.

Martin Freeland, of Exmouth Coastguard, said: “We got called because the tractor was stuck and the tide was coming in. They were trying to get it out and we stopped them and brought them back into shore.”

A tractor stuck in the mud on the Exe Estuary. Picture: Ian HuxtableA tractor stuck in the mud on the Exe Estuary. Picture: Ian Huxtable

Following the incident, the coastguard team also provided safety cover for the vehicle and kept members of the public away.

Tony Whitehead, speaking for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), confirmed the tractor had been helping with a beach clean, on Saturday, September 8, co-ordinated by the Exe Estuary Partnership, when it slipped into soft sand and became stuck.

He said: “The tractor was being used to clear larger items of rubbish, a task we’d helped out with in previous years.

“During the event the tractor was directed to pick up rubbish from a particular spot and in the process unfortunately two wheels slipped into a softer patch of estuary sand, trapping the tractor.

“The vehicle resisted efforts to freed and was eventually submerged by the tide. Similarly on the Sunday, despite continued efforts, the tractor remained stuck.”

The waters around Exmouth and the Exe Estuary are environmentally important and home to a rich variety of wildlife, raising concerns over pollution - a risk which Tony said was averted.

“Given the sensitive nature of the site, the fuel was removed from the tank to reduce pollution risk,” he said.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00

Photographer, Luke Hopkins, shares his superb nature photos of the amazing wildlife to be found in and around Exmouth.

Read more
Fri, 15:34

A jealous party guest from Exmouth who lashed out with a glass after seeing another woman talking to her ex boyfriend has been spared jail.

Read more
Fri, 15:02

East Devon District Council is hopeful that eight homeless people will be housed in a former bed and breakfast before Christmas.

Read more
Fri, 12:23

Bill ‘from Exmouth’ broke down in tears explaining to radio host James O’Brien that regretted his decision to vote to leave the EU.

Read more
Fri, 12:20

East Budleigh’s churchyard has won recognition in a Devon-wide competition for creating a haven for wildlife and people.

Read more
Fri, 10:17

Bluebird Care Exmouth’s in-home service has been rated Outstanding by the independent regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Read more
Fri, 09:47

Fundraising for charity proved a piece of cake for staff at Exmouth’s Specsavers when they raised awareness of sight loss.

Read more
Thu, 18:07

A man from Exmouth has been jailed for throwing a hamster and its cage at his wife during a terrifying attack.

Read more
Thu, 17:49

An Exmouth community group set up to encourage people to exercise raised thousands of pounds and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND) with a dinner and dance evening.

Read more
Thu, 14:33

An Exmouth fish and chip shop has received national recognition for being a top place to work.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Exmouth Journal twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications