Couple who drove 280 miles from London to go for a four hour walk on Norfolk beach are fined for breaking Covid rules after they triggered huge search and rescue operation during Storm Darcy
- Couple from London drove 140 miles to go on four-hour walk of Norfolk beach
- Coastwatch volunteers spotted car hours later and called emergency services
- Four boats and helicopter deployed in ‘horrendous conditions’ from Storm Darcy
- Pair found as they returned to car and were fined for breaking rules by police
An idiotic couple were fined after their 280-mile seaside trip sparked a full-scale coastguard search operation in a raging storm.
The pair from London left their car unattended by a Norfolk beach for four hours, causing concern amongst the emergency services with the severe weather.
Coastwatch volunteers spotted the walkers parking their car – however when they failed to return hours later the alarm was raised.
Four different coastguard boats headed into the water – in the worst conditions seen for 20 years – as Storm Darcy rolled in on Saturday afternoon.
An idiotic couple were fined after their 280-mile seaside trip sparked a full-scale coastguard search operation in a raging storm
Crews started scouring the water, with 20 ft waves crashing against the boats and a helicopter was also scrambled.
The couple were eventually found – and said they had been for a walk.
It turned out they had driven to the seaside village of Winterton, Norfolk, from London.
Their six-hour round trip from central London, covering 280 miles, is banned under coronavirus rules.
Brits have been told to stay local and stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
Norfolk Police took a dim view of the couple’s antics and fined them both.
A spokesperson said: ‘It was established the couple had travelled from London earlier in the day and both were given a fixed penalty notices for breaching lockdown rules.’
Four different coastguard boats headed into the water as Storm Darcy rolled in on Saturday afternoon to search for the couple who could not be immediately located
Independent Caister Coastguard chairman Paul Garrod said it was the worst weather he had seen in 20 years.
He explained: ‘We were paged at 4.20pm on Saturday, launched with six crew members.
‘Once we got to Winterton, we had to start a shoreline search. There were 20ft rolling waves. It’s the worst I’ve seen in 20-odd years, because we were so close into shore. It was horrendous.’
HM Coastguard Winterton issued a weather warning about the incident.
It said: ‘After an extensive search involving three Coastguard teams, Caister Lifeboat, our search and rescue helicopter, and the police, thankfully the missing persons were found safe and well as they returned to their car. Police then took over with their own investigation.
The couple were eventually found – and said they had been for a walk at the seaside village of Winterton, Norfolk, after driving up from London. Police took a dim view of their actions and fined them
‘With the bad weather forecast over the next few days we ask you all to take extreme care when visiting the coast.
‘Remember the wind chill factor is many degrees less than the temperature, winds and waves may cause damage to coastlines.’
Locals took a dim view of the pair’s 280-mile round trip for a seaside walk.
Neil Cruickshank said: ‘To drive long distances to our beaches for a walk is bad enough.
‘But to do it in this weather and then involve the emergency services is total ignorance.
‘These people should be very heavily fined and pay costs for call out.’
Ron Lovick commented: ‘Well done to all the teams involved. Now the twonks need to be find heavily and made to pay for the cost of services.
Kelly Kinrade added: ‘Bill them for the wasted time of all the emergency services. No excuse whatsoever.’
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