A DIGGER became stuck on Bournemouth beach, prompting a recovery effort to rescue it from the sea.

Work was underway in replacing timber groynes on the beach, near the East Cliff, on the morning of Wednesday, November 29.

The digger became stuck in some soft sand, and it was then swamped by the rising tide.

Bournemouth Echo:

The driver of the digger was uninjured, with another digger operator helping them to safety.

Fortunately, the driver was able to isolate the bio-degradable fuel supply in the digger, sealing the tank, so none leaked into the water.

Cllr Andy Hadley, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for climate response, environment and energy, posted on X (formerly Twitter): “Oops, Groyne replacement on Bournemouth Beach.

“Digger in the sea. Driver is OK, and he isolated the bio-degradable fuel supply.

“Beware the soft sand. Digger to be recovered at low tide tonight.”

Bournemouth Echo: A digger became stuck in the sea off Bournemouth

Recovery was scheduled to take place at low tide on Wednesday, between 4.30pm and 5.30pm.

Sarah Miah was walking along the beach with her son.

She said: “It’s exciting for the little one.

“It gave us a reason to stop and talk to him about diggers and about what they might be doing and what they might be building.”

Another walker was Beverley Butler, who spotted the stricken digger from the clifftop.

She said: “I’m glad the driver is alright. I just hope they can get it out.”

Bournemouth Echo:

A BCP Council spokesperson said: "This morning (29 November), during our normal activities to renew the timber groynes at East Cliff, one of the excavators hit soft sand and became stuck, becoming swamped by the rising tide.

"A rescue plan is underway and our contractors hope to retrieve the excavator at low tide today. We are pleased to report that the driver is uninjured and had the foresight to switch off the bio-degradable fuel supply, sealing the tank.

"Sand becomes very unstable when it is excavated around groynes and this is why we ask people not enter or pass the construction zone along the water’s edge, even at low tide."