Monday, July 28, 2014

The Perils of Beach Driving

I recently discovered this photo in an old album. It was taken at South Point in November, 1981. If I remember correctly, the angler fell asleep as the tide was coming in.

As far as I know, this SUV (or whatever is left of it) is still out there, having gradually sunk deeper into the sand. It wasn't long before it was completely covered up.

The message: stay awake, and pay attention when driving on the beach!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it here:  


  1. Anonymous7:55 AM

    Surely that must have been an abrupt way to wake up! NC Mainlander is assuming the angler did flee to shore and survive. What a hard, but permanent lesson to learn.

  2. Anonymous9:25 AM

    Would there have been an article in the weekly paper about this event? It appears as if the vehicle could be a Suburban truck and it appears to have been in a collision of some sort as the right side of the car appears to have a large dent and the hood looks as if it suffered from some sort of impact. If one is a serious about fishing, are not the tide charts something one consults religiously? Back then leaking engine oil to pollute the water was not a concern I suppose.

  3. Anonymous10:11 AM

    Another piece of advice might be: stay sober while beach driving. I once saw two guys doing more beer drinking than fishing while the tide washed UNDER their 4 X 4. They were towed to higher ground after a passerby pointed our their then the four tires were sunk to the axle in the wet sand!

  4. Anonymous11:36 AM

    I've got to believe there's more than one such wreck buried in the sands down there.

    Any insight into the modern-day frequency of such "accidents" (or the fates of such vehicles)?

    Even considering the availability/prevalence of cell phones, I suspect not every beached vehicle can be reached/hauled out in time, and that every now and then there's still "one that got away."

    As always, you keep things interesting here, Philip. Thanks.

  5. Anonymous3:04 PM

    It must be true...ya can't fix stupid!

  6. Oh, there have been several vehicles lost as the tide came in, but none in recent years. I remember one vehicle (it might have been the one in this photo...thus the damage to the side & hood) that was rolled around by powerful waves every time the tide came in or out.

  7. Anonymous8:31 AM

    This is evidence for the move to prevent driving on the beach, any beach.

    1. Anonymous9:08 AM

      Actually, no. This is evidence that you can't fix stupid. Stupid happens everywhere, beach or not.

  8. Anonymous9:50 AM

    In the early days of OI since there were no roads or a ferry landing, one brought their vehicle to the island and ast their fate to the winds and drove through the water to higher ground. Now there are roads, ferry landings and proper parking. A Beachcomber should have the luxury of combing the beach without dodging traffic. Also, "you can't fix stupid" well with the internet and online educational opportunities many of which are free I think we can YES WE CAN fix stupid. There is an app out there for everyone. It is called Learn me something good. or you can send your kid to Khan Academy on line it is a good thing.

  9. There's plenty of beaches for "beachcombers" as well as vehicles.