The actions of tourists who left their car on Holy Island causeway, sparking a costly rescue effort by the emergency services has been condemned.
The drama unfolded on Wednesday afternoon when a partially submerged car was spotted on the tidal causeway.
Humber Coastguard asked the Seahouses inshore lifeboat to investigate the report at 3.25pm. The rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer was also scrambled.
There was concern that people were still in the vehicle, as the vehicle lights had come on. Coastguards also received a 999 call from someone at the causeway car park who thought three people were in the vehicle.
On arrival, the lifeboat crew found no one; the lights had operated due to being shorted out by the salt water.
The occupants of the car were eventually traced to the Ship Hotel on Holy Island, where they were spoken to by coastguard officers.
Ian Clayton, Seahouses lifeboat operations manager, said: “While it is unbelievable that people are still getting stranded on the causeway despite new Hi-tech signage, it is regrettable that these people today did not notify the authorities about having to abandon their vehicle, which would have avoided the rescue alert.”