Man hears ‘children screaming’ as family of five rescued from tidal road

A motorist has recalled hearing ‘children screaming’ as a van became inundated by water on a tidal road.

Andrew Takle was driving his Land Rover on the Aveton Gifford tidal road on Tuesday (August 16) at high tide when he decided to turn back following a warning from a kayaker, reports SomersetLive.

Being told the road was under five feet of water further down, he tried to head back up the road only to be blocked — and shortly afterwards witnessed a blue Ford van driving into one of the road’s deepest parts.

The family vehicle, which was carrying a man, his partner and three children as it ventured along the track, suddenly veered off the side after the driver appeared to attempt to reverse away.

Mr Takle then heard children screaming from inside the van, which continued until the woman helped wade them through the water.

Describing the moment he saw the van fall into danger, Andrew said: “I decided to turn around and come back and then I realised there was a van coming down the hill and I thought ‘surely he’s not going to go through the water’ but he started edging through slowly.

“I think he bottled it halfway through and decided to try to reverse but slipped off the road and dropped down the side.

“I could hear a load of kids screaming and stuff cause his van had children in. The lady got out in the water and waded the children through at the end.”

Andrew then attempted to free the van with his Land Rover, but was prevented by the sheer volume of water.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service also attended the scene, but it is believed that they were also unsuccessful at removing the van.

Andrew said that it took a local tractor to eventually pull the family vehicle to safety. No injuries were reported.

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called attend an incident on Tuesday 16th August near Kingsbridge.

“Our crews located a vehicle which had fallen off the road and checked to see that everyone was safe, and recovery came to take it away.”