On the morning of Sunday, 28 July 2013, the roof of a white Transit van was seen emerging from the falling tide by local fisherman, Tam, who reported it to the police.
The emergency services were quickly on the scene, with the police, a number of fire engines, an ambulance Incidence Response Unit and the Mud Rescue Unit from the Coastguard.
As the tide started to recede, a RIB was deployed to try to see if there was a body in the cab of the vehicle.
Although they managed to break the screen of the cab it was difficult to see clearly and they had to retreat as the propellor started to hit the mud.
Meanwhile the emergency services had to stand around in the rain waiting for the tide to clear the van.
The Coastguard Mud Response Team waiting on the club pontoon ready to cross the mud to the van as the water falls.
Eventually with their mud probes in hand, they lower themselves into the water and make their way across tho the vehicle.
Fortunately there was nobody there.
The attention then moved to the rear of the van to check there, and after a great deal of difficulty given the conditions, the back doors were broached and it was clear that there were no bodies and no tragic loss of life.
All that was left was to call in the heavy recovery team to get the van out of the mud and water, so that it could be removed as a hazard and examined further by the police.
It is not known at this stage how it came to be in the water or when it was put there. The speculation is considerable.
Photos Adrian Shield (Copyright)
See also The Recovery below.
One would have thought that a crane would be required to lift the van, but no, a heavy tow truck just dragged it out of the mud.
Unfortunately, a wheel of the van had managed to catch round our newly laid anchor chain for the extension to the club pontoon. There was talk of cutting this, but swift action by club members appraised them of the chains positioning and they managed to free it.