By Cara Sulieman
A GROUP of jet skiers were left red-faced after their car got stuck in the sea when the tide came in and submerged the 4×4.
Trying to launch a jet ski from a trailer attached to the back of the blue Mitsubishi Warrior, the men didn’t notice the rising water until it was too late.
They had to call out a rescue truck to tow the car out of the ocean, but it also had to go into the water to retrieve the stranded vehicle.
Onlookers watched as the drama unfolded on Portobello beach on Monday afternoon but revealed it wasn’t an uncommon sight.
John Cropley, 46, owns the Forth View bar overlooking the beach and said people get stuck on the beach every few months.
“They went in the water with the car, unhooked the jet ski and then tried to get the car out the water, but couldn’t.
“This happens three of four times a year, every year.
“It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last time that a vehicle gets stuck.
“Last year, it was transit vans and four-wheel drives that got stuck.”
David Blues, 32, from Baileyfield Garage was called to rescue the stranded car at 2pm on Monday.
He said: “I thought it might have been too late because the vehicle was already floating, it was in pretty deep.
“The vehicle was too far out so the ropes we had weren’t long enough, we had to go back to the garage at Fishwives’ Causeway to get more ropes.”
The ropes were attached to a winch on the rescue truck and the vehicle was finally pulled to safety at around 3.30pm.
David added: “I have done this type of rescue a few times – at Portobello beach and at Joppa – but the people always wait until the last minute to phone for help.
“If you get stuck on the sand you should phone someone straight away, but they never, ever do – they always wait until the water is touching the wheels.
“This kind of thing is pretty common in the area, I’ve been to a few of these rescues and it’s always big-money cars.
“The whole car will need to be stripped down to its bare shell and completely washed out.
“The salt and sand gets into the brakes and everything.”
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “It looks like the owner of the car was trying to tow or launch a jet ski and the black 4×4 vehicle got stuck.”
The jet skiers refused to comment.