A mum has described the scenes of panic which unfolded when up to 40 cars were submerged in seawater at a North Wales village.
Families enjoying a day at Talacre beach returned to a car park to find their vehicles stranded on Sunday (May 8).
A sign that read 'sorry beach closed for vehicles due to high tide' was on a gate, which was allegedly left open.
Eyewitness Vickie Gibson was out for the day with her husband, mum, two children and her dogs when the incident unfolded.
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She said: “We got to Talacre around lunch time and the car park was fine.
“We decided against parking in there as there was only one space left and it would’ve meant parking in a deep puddle, so we went to park down by the pub.
“We walked to the beach and were quite shocked to see the sea so close with not much sand area.
“I know tide comes in, but it was a new sight to me as it’s always a bit further out when we go.”
Vickie, of Greenfield, Flintshire, added: “In a very short amount of time, the sea was getting really close and leaving us not much space, so we took the kids up onto the sand dunes and that’s when we realised we couldn’t get back the way we came as it was really deep and we could see all the cars trapped.
“Some had water up to the bottom of their windows.
“We then had to walk and climb fences to get back.”
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Vickie, who managed to get a photograph showing 13 vehicles submerged, said: “Everyone was rushing around panicking.
“One guy waded over to his car and everything inside was floating.
“The coastguards were there making sure no one attempted to get their cars out and to make sure no one tried to get onto the car park.
“They then had to wait until the tide went out.
“Police were also at the other end of Talacre by the roundabout advising people of what was happening.
“The tide started to go down about 1.30pm.”
The village, a popular tourist spot, has been suffering a parking crisis for years.
Talacre’s existing beach car park provides 250 spaces but its use is dependant on high tides.
Access to the beach is controlled by oil company ENI, who have been asked to comment.
Flintshire Council has also been approached for a response.