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Cars submerged at Sligo’s beaches as drivers caught out by tides

Pleas have been made for more signage


Cars submerged at Cummeen during high tide on Saturday last.

Cars submerged at Cummeen during high tide on Saturday last.

Cars stranded at Streedagh beach.

Cars stranded at Streedagh beach.


Cars submerged at Cummeen during high tide on Saturday last.


A Sligo County Councillor has warned motorists of the danger of the high spring tides-after a number of cars were submerged in the sea at the weekend.

And Independent Councillor Marie Casserly, who was originally responsible for getting a warning sign put up at her local Streedagh Strand, urged motorists to heed the warning signs about high tides at beaches.

One of our pictures shows cars trapped in the water at Cummeen Strand on Saturday evening. The other shows a vehicle underwater at Streedagh Strand in north Sligo.

Sligo man Ciaran Adams was driving past Cummeen Strand when he spotted the vehicles in difficulty and sent in the pictures.

They were taken at 8pm on Saturday at Cummeen Strand where the road meets the shore and the causeway leads to Coney Island.

“Several unattended cars had been partly submerged by the full spring tide. While signs warn of the dangers of being cut off by the tide and there is a free text service giving safe crossing times, there is nothing to indicate where it is safe to park.

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“This could be overcome by a simple line painted across the road at High Water Mark. This line would be at least 50 metres further inland from where the warning signs are now positioned,” said Ciarán.

And Councillor Casserly saw at first hand vehicles under water at Streedagh.

“Twelve times a year there is a full moon and with that comes a high tide. We had great weather last weekend and we had so many people on holidays. We have a low tide and then a high tide twice a day.”

She added: “Some visitors are not familiar with the beaches here in Sligo, and they get trapped.

“Now, there are signs to warn people and there is a board with information with the times of the high tide on a board at Streedagh.

“But people just don’t think to stop and have a look. There were four cars trapped in Streedagh at the weekend. The car park in Streedagh is small and the surrounding land is commonage, but it is privately owned land.

“But the high tide comes in on the car park as well. Streedagh is a special area of conservation, and it is tidal.

“When the weather is bad and nobody is around, nobody notices what way the tide is because there are no cars parked there.

“But, it just so happens that at the height of summer, when you have a lot of visitors, the weather is great and the tide is out when you arrive.

“They don’t realise the tide is coming in”.

She continued:

“It is not that the cars get totally flooded like Rossnowlagh in Donegal, but the tide in Streedagh comes over the wheels and could cause damage to the electrics.

“So, what people usually do is to wait until the tide goes back out and it does not take too long for that to happen. I was over there on Saturday evening when I saw a mechanic working at a car.”

Marie was responsible for getting warning signs erected at the beach some years ago.

“It was one of my first motions as a councillor and the Council gave them to me right away, in fairness.

“Sometimes people give out about all the signs and you don’ want to litter the place, but it is a balancing act with safety concerns as well.

“I keep an eye on the tides all the time and I can figure out how far up it will come and there is an App you can look at as well.

“I try to put up as many warnings as I can, and I try to get on the radio as well. And it is no harm for people who run hotels, B and B’s and accommodation in general are also aware of high tides.

“It is different if you go to Rosses Point as you have a car park that is higher up than the beach which is also the case in Mullaghmore.”