A joyride on the beach turned into pandemonium when a group of youths got their SUV stuck in an incoming tide on Friday night.
The drivers of the vehicle began doing doughnuts on the beach at New Plymouth's lee breakwater during a particularly low spring tide when they got stuck about 5pm yesterday evening, witnesses said.
The incoming tide had reached the bonnet of the Nissan Patrol before it was towed out of the water by three utes.
"They got sort of stuck, and then they just floored it, and got stuck more," a woman who had watched the saga from the car park explained.
The Nissan's driver refused offers of help from members of the nearby fishing club, who had a tractor at the ready, saying he had friends coming to help.
Two more SUV vehicles arrived on the beach and a group of 14 young men in total attempted, unsuccessfully, to tow the Nissan Patrol from the water.
A group of about 50 onlookers gathered to watch the ongoing saga, as well as customers of nearby restaurants The Bach on Breakwater, Manou's and Gusto.
"They were doing doughnuts for about a minute before they got stuck," said one onlooker. "Everyone has been offering them help, and they keep saying no."
By about 6.30pm when the tide had reached the bonnet of the vehicle, the boys accepted the help on offer and the vehicle was towed out more than two hours after it initially became stuck.
After the vehicle was removed from the water, one of its occupants was heard saying he would not be going cruising along the beach again.
- Taranaki Daily News
Should the media report suicide?