A CAR rolled into the water while waiting for the Sandbanks Ferry on Thursday.

The blue Honda HRV was at the front of the queue for the chain ferry when the handbrake is believed to have failed.

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

Nobody was in the car when it slipped into the water.

The driver, who had stepped out of the vehicle to visit the toilet when it happened, then waded into the water in an attempt to stop it from getting away.  

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

Paul Tuttiett, 57, from Verwood, was parked in the car park by the slip way waiting for the ferry so he could visit Swanage for a daytrip with friends when the incident unfolded at around 9am.

He said: “We were sat waiting for the ferry while waiting for friends to turn up as we were going out for the day.

Footage by Paul Tuttiett

“There was a guy on the slipway at the front of the queue and he got out and his car started to follow him. The velocity of the car had overtaken him and he waded into the water and tried to restrain it and we were shouting at him to get back as slipways can be slippery.

“The ferry had to be halted for a while and a crane turned up but we were on the ferry by then.”

“He tried to get in the side door and pull up the handbrake to stop it and it started floating off.”

Swanage and Wareham Voice:

The vehicle could then be seen floating in the water in the harbour. 
Paul added: “It’s not what you’d expect to see. I’ve seen pictures of it happen at Poole Park before but never at Sandbanks.

“There’s nothing you can do about it. You feel for the guy. He was very calm. I would be swearing and cursing but he was very calm.”

Following the incident, the car was recovered from the water close to one of the jettys. 

A barge from Jenkins Marine with a hydraulic arm attached then arrived on the scene and manoeuvred the boat to shallow water.

A crew member then climbed on top of the vehicle while it was in the water and placed a strap through the open windows before it could be lifted out.

As the car was being lifted from the sea and onto the barge, water could be seen pouring out of the vehicle as members of the public watched on from the water’s edge. 

A pilot’s boat from Poole Harbour also attended. 

The Sandbanks Ferry was running as normal.