Buoy attached to car roof as it sinks below tide at Margate harbour

Covered by the tide Photo John Horton

Photos and additional reporting by John Horton

A buoy has been attached to the roof of a black Ford pick up that is submerged by the tide in Margate harbour.

The vehicle was spotted on the sand near the lighthouse last night (September 15), apparently towing a trailer for a ski bike (UPDATE: Trailer was used for a boat).

However, the vehicle sunk into the sludge sand and has since been covered by the tide.

The blue buoy was attached to the roof of the vehicle as it could cause an obstruction to boats entering and exiting the harbour.

It is understood one small boat skipper thought it was a dinghy until onlookers informed him it was actually a vehicle.

Barriers are being installed today in planned works. They have gone in at the slipway by Manning’s fish stall and at the top of the ramp behind Turner Contemporary.

Both areas are marked “No Jet Skis”. One set of keys for both barriers will be held by the RNLI for emergencies.

Thanet council recently introduced a Summer beach and coastal supervisor role in a bid to crack down on those jet-skiing in prohibited areas.

The officer role, which is likely to be extended, is in response to complaints of those using the crafts in swimming areas instead of launching from designated slipways on the isle.

A review of how effective signs, bollards and barriers are at problem hotspots will also be carried out.

Cabinet member Cllr Steve Albon recently said Thanet council aims to strengthen powers to deal with those breaking the rules by putting in place the PSPO – which will allow enforcement action such as penalty notices.

He said: “In the long term we are looking at strengthening our powers over the coastal by-laws to make them more easily enforceable and with more serious penalties.

“To do this we are exploring a Public Spaces Protection Order which will encompass all the old by-laws and new requirements.”

Photo Isabelle de Ridder

UPDATE: The vehicle has started to emerge this afternoon (September 16).

Photo by Isabelle de Ridder


  1. Always jetskiers, always! Dave from Dagenham buys a jetski from Trevor in the dog and duck. Drives it dahhhhn to Margate, slams it around showing off to the birds, car gets sunk. lather rinse repeat.

  2. Tough luck, this idiot obviously thought he was immune to the rules.

    I also watched a jet ski yesterday, launched at Westbrook, where they are allowed, then went over to Margate main beach pestering swimmers. So wrong.

  3. Ha, ha, look at me, I have a 4-wheel drive, I won’t get stuck, like all the people before me.


  4. My uncles use to have Trawlers fishing out of margate i remember getting stuck in the sand years ago when i was a boy still in shorts, it seem people dont care about sand and tides or even danger to others, lucky the harbour isn’t like it used to be busy

  5. These people think they are immune to the issues that everyone else has to deal with in life. More money than sense. Hit them in the pocket dearly, it’s no use seeking powers that nobody will enforce. TDC stated several times through this news website that they had employed several officers, beach wardens and inspectors to clamp down on the abuse by users of jet skis and littering but how many were given notices or fines this season? Zero no doubt.
    No point in asking people not to do it either, just like in this pandemic asking people not to mix in large groups. A lot of the priveleged younger generations do not understand requests and just ignore them. You need to be proactive like the DVLA and parking wardens to hand out fines and clamp vehicles that abuse the regulations.

  6. It’s high time TDC cracked down on these jet skis. Time and time again I see them tearing along Ramsgate Main Beach and heading into Pegwell Bay SSSI, both of which are against the bye laws.
    But just who do you report it to? It’s not a criminal matter, so the police won’t be interested. I haven’t seen a Beach Inspector in Ramsgate for years.
    Fine words from Cllr Albon, but actions speak louder.

    • I saw 4 jetskis yesterday afternoon crossing from Pegwell Bay and going in the direction of Broadstairs, passing Winterstoke beach on the way. I have seen groups like this many times this summer as well as in previous years . They often come dangerously close to the shore. As a regular swimmer at Ramsgate Main Sands, I find them frightening.

      I hope measures will be put in place at Ramsgate too, as I’m sorry to say the main beach does not feel as safe as it used to.

      As for the proposal to allow kite-surfing from the main beach- I can scarcely believe that this possibility is being seriously considered by the council! Kite-surfing is NOT suitable for a public beach. Especially one as popular as Ramsgate.

  7. How do you explain that to the insurance company?

    “Well, I was on a beach where I wasn’t supposed to be”

    “I left the vehicle unattended, the tide came in”

    “The sign said access for lifeboat only”

    “A cat ran across the sand in front of me, I ended up in the sea”

    “Third party fire & theft, does that include the sea”

    “I didn’t want to pay a membership, and launch from the other beach legally”

    “We were told not to jump off the harbour wall, that’s why we were using the car to jump off”

    “The parking was so expensive, I thought I would be clever, and park on the beach”

    “I’ve seen other 4 wheel drive vehicles get stuck before, but they were just being stupid”

    “Will I lose my no claim bonus, because it wasn’t my fault, the tide came in”

    “It wasn’t my fault, I can show you the photos, nobody would help me, they all stood there laughing “

  8. Bystander here… who helped attach the buoy to the top of the vehicle. The trailer was for a boat NOT a jet ski. They had only had the boat two days so were inexperienced. Just a misjudgment on their part… mistakes happen

    • Hi Amber what has happened to the boat, what type was it? It makes a big difference if its a boat on the trailer as I’ve not heard of boats not allowed there but the sign says, no parking of vehicles or trailers on the slipway, if that is the only sign it seems like unless they actually stop or park up then they are OK to go down onto the sand/sludge and not block the area at the bottom of of the slipway. From the photo which shows the notice readable they have done nothing wrong apart from getting stuck which is very unfortunate. If there is a notice saying differently why is it not on the opening to slipway!!!!!!

  9. Oh so brilliant I’m listening to blondie album and half way through the Tide is high starts playing simply hilarious. Anyway these jet skiers are so stupid about 25 years ago one them thought he would reverse down the ramp at Erith and he didn’t realise his mate had fallen off the ramp he leant out of the open door to see where he was slipped fell on rocks car and jet ski ended up floating up the Thames until they sunk, their was not a dry eye mostly all tears of laughter. Especially as police arrested him for driving on the pier.

  10. TDC won’t have time to do anything about these idiots they’re far to busy constructing one way systems that don’t work to harass the people of Westgate.

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