A weekend by the sea ended in a nighmare for Donna and Karl Robinson when they parked their car on the beach and returned to find it submerged by the incoming tide.
But Mrs Robinson, of Palmer Road, Devizes, was even more distressed when some reports said she was the driver of the car.
She said: “I haven’t even got a licence so it wasn’t me. I think they just wanted to make fun out of a woman driver.”
Her husband Karl, 40, who is a delivery driver for Devizes butchers Walter Rose and Son, was at the wheel of the car when they arrived in their Ford Focus with their two daughters aged eight and 17 to visit Brean Down fort in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset on Friday.
He said: “It was me who was driving. I just didn’t see the sign about the high tide time. It was a terrible shock when we got back to the car. I have been taking a bit of stick about it at work but they haven’t been as bad as I thought they would be.”
Mrs Robinson said: “When we returned to the beach we realised the tide had come in. It looked as if the sea was right up to the roof but when we got closer it wasn’t quite that high. But we had to wait for the sea to go right out before it could be moved. The salt water had done a lot of damage and there was sea weed everywhere.
“The car did start on Saturday morning but then it died again. It took all day Saturday to sort out transport to get the car home. The RAC wouldn’t pay for it so we had to claim on the insurance. We were meant to be away for a long weekend but it was all spoilt. I was quite devastated by it but I can see that other people might find it funny.
“But I am not too bothered by what people think. I have put it on Facebook.”
After the Robinsons parked their car beach warden Dave Furber tried to search for the owners to warn them that the car was in danger but he was unable to find them before the high tide complete surrounded the vehicle.
He said that the driver was “shocked” to come back and find that their car had been deluged. Now he is warning of the dangers of parking on the beach when the tide is approaching. He said: “This serves as a warning about heeding warning signs and checking tide times before driving on to the beach.”
So far this year, five other vehicles have also come unstuck in the same area of Burnham-on-Sea.