Driver gets watery surprise as he finds his car submerged following romantic birthday celebration

Video and words from SWNS

The hapless motorist who found his car submerged by a high tide had been celebrating his 40th birthday at the time, it emerged today.

Matt Starling had been enjoying a romantic weekend away in Burnham Overy, Norfolk, with his wife Rachel, as a belated celebration for his birthday last Tuesday.

The dad-of-two had parked his silver, BMW 5 series estate car on a tidal road on Saturday afternoon, whilst he and Rachel enjoyed a nice sunset picnic on the beach, and an overnight stay nearby.

But the pair were shocked when they returned to the car the next morning - to find their car completely waterlogged in a different spot to where they left it, having been moved by the high tide.

The evening tide had almost totally submerged Matt and Rachel's car on Saturday - leaving sailboats and paddleboards passing by it, with their bemused passengers surveying the state of the vehicle.

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Unlucky accounts manager Matt said: "It wasn't quite how I had pictured my birthday weekend ending.

"The water level had risen to the level of the BMW badge on the steering wheel.

"By the time we got back to the car at about 11am on the Sunday, it was low tide again, so the car wasn't submerged anymore.

"But when I opened the car door, it was like a scene from a cartoon - all the water just came rushing out."

He added: "When we first got back to the car park, Rachel said the car wasn't there.

"It had been picked up by the oncoming tides, and carried about 50 yards down from where we had parked it - and rotated about 90 degrees."

To make matters worse, Matt said his BMW had an automatic feature whereby, if the car detects water entering, it will open a window to help to allow the passengers to get out the car.

He said: "The electrics are dead - salt water is a complete killer of cars.

"Luckily, the damage is covered by our insurance - so we're just waiting for our adjusters to take a look at it, and then we can start looking at getting a new car."

Matt had bought the 2014 BMW 520d car in early 2018, for £15,500 - and estimates its current value to be around £9,500.

He and Rachel had travelled to Burnham Overy from Norwich, around 40 miles away.

The tidal road where they had parked the car is not an official car park - but Matt said he has parked the car there overnight before, and that it is usually full of cars.

He said: "We've parked there before to go and do sea kayaking, and my brother has left his car there overnight on occasion.

"It's where a lot of people in the village park their cars.

"We just didn't think to check the tide times, and we got unlucky. We never thought it would come up that high.

"The area was almost full of parked cars when we got there at about 2pm on Saturday - but I don't think any of them stayed there overnight."

Matt and Rachel were forced to get a taxi to take them back to their home in Norwich on Sunday afternoon, where Matt's mum was looking after their two daughters Ella, five, and Isabelle, two.

But Matt said that despite the unfortunate end to their weekend away, he still managed to enjoy a lovely 40th birthday celebration.

He said: "We shared a bottle of Moet and a deli picnic and watched the sunset on the beach, so I can't complain too much.

"It's an expensive lesson learnt, but if nothing else, it's made a few people smile."

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