The mystery of the 4x4 jeep stuck in the sand at Blackhall Beach

A rusty, abandoned vehicle has been spotted at low tide at Blackhall Rocks in County Durham for the past year-and-a-half but it is still a mystery where it has come from?

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 7:00 am
The 4x4 became stuck in September 2019. Picture by Hartlepool Coastguard

The abandoned 4x4 jeep is usually submerged by the sea until low tide reveals the vehicle, which is still mostly intact, almost a year and a half after the car was first reported.

The mystery behind the jeep begins in 2019 when emergency services were called to Blackhall Rocks where a car had become stuck in the sand.

On September, 30, 2019 emergency services were initially told there were potentially casualties stuck inside the vehicle.

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An abandoned car has been on Blackhall Rocks Beach since 2019.

But coastguard teams from Hartlepool and Seaham, found no occupants inside the 4x4 and a spokesman for Hartlepool Coasguard at the time said: “We left the vehicle to be recovered by the police at the next low tide.”

One-and-a-half years on the jeep is still sitting on the County Durham beach.

Durham Police had said the recovery would be down to local councils as no foul play was suspected in the matter.

When contacted, Monk Hesleden Parish council, said it had no dealings with the vehicle and suggested Durham County Council would know more about the abandoned jeep.

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Durham County Council admitted it too is stumped as to how the car got on the beach, when asked this week, Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager said: “We do not know the history of this vehicle or how it came to be on the beach, but we will investigate the matter and take any appropriate action.”

Further investigations revealed that part of Blackhall Rocks is managed by the crown estate or otherwise known as ‘the sovereign's public estate’ which is a collection of lands and holdings across the UK belonging to the British monarch.

When contacted, the Crown Estate said that they only manage part of the foreshore in County Durham which is the area between the Mean High and Mean Low water marks.

This part of the foreshore is managed by Carter Jonas on behalf of the Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate said that they understand that the abandoned vehicle is located above the high water mark on the beach, and therefore it would be up to the council to remove it.

However high water marks shift and move over the years, and the County Council has said it is therefore not entirely clear who is responsible for the land where the now rusted car sits.

Susan Robinson, head of corporate property and land at Durham County Council, said: “This car is located across the boundary of land owned by Durham County Council and the Crown Estate.

"This boundary is determined by the high water mark which has shifted over the years. We will continue to liaise with other landowners and agencies with a responsibility for the coastline to determine what action can be taken.”

Today, the owners of the vehicle are still unknown, and the jeep still stands stuck on the beach with no plans to remove the jeep in sight.

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