The driver became stuck in mud on Tuesday while trying to drive to Osea Island on the Essex coast


A man was rescued from his van roof by the RNLI on Tuesday after his vehicle got stuck in mud and became trapped by a rising tide.

The driver had been attempting to travel from the mainland along a flooding causeway to Osea Island on the Essex coast when he became stuck.

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As the tide rose, the causeway was completely covered in water, forcing the man to clamber out of his vehicle and onto its roof.

RNLI volunteers from West Mersea launched to the man’s aid, arriving on scene just before 4pm.

West Mersea RNLI lifeboat operations manager Martin Wade said: “When the lifeboat arrived we found the driver standing on the roof. The water had risen up to the van’s windows, covering the seats inside. Eventually the tide would have completely swamped the vehicle.

“Despite his precarious position, the driver seemed quite relaxed but he was obviously pleased to see the RNLI crew. We got him aboard the lifeboat and attached a marker buoy to the van to warn passing boats. The crew took the driver ashore at Mill beach unhurt and completely dry.

“He had a lucky escape as the tide covers the ground very quickly in that area. I’d urge anyone travelling across the causeway to check the tide times beforehand and not risk a crossing if they’re not certain they will make it.”

The rescue comes just days before West Mersea RNLI lifeboat station hosts a naming ceremony for its new lifeboat Just George. The event will be held at 11am on Sunday 31 May at the lifeboat station.