‘I just took a wrong turn, boss, honest...’

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Driver James Grayson can wave goodbye to a pat on the back from his boss after leaving the company van all at sea.

Mr Grayson, 30, decided to make the most of a trip to Blackpool by taking his lunch break by the sea – only to end up being marooned with the tide coming in fast.

JCB arrives to tow the van out of the sea

JCB arrives to tow the van out of the sea

After driving down a concrete stretch at Starr Gate, Mr Grayson ended up on the beach.

But before he could turn round, James realised he was stuck in the sand at around 1pm yesterday.

Mr Grayson, who works for St Helens-based A&M Energy Solutions, said: “In my job, we go from house-to-house so in between two jobs, I decided to go see the beach as a break.

“I was going to park up but because there was a car behind me, I went down the concrete stretch to move out of the way.”

Once James realised the van was not moving, his first thoughts were to laugh and think about the trouble he might be in.

He said: “I just started laughing, I thought about how my boss is going to kill me but I haven’t spoken to him yet.

“Everyone one else at work has just laughed and can’t believe what has happened.”

After getting out of the van, Mr Grayson suddenly realised things were about to get worse with the tide coming in fast.

He said: “The tide was coming in so quick that it was up to the floor of the van in no time.

“I was asking any passersby to help tow it out.”

Panicking, he called a number on a warning sign at Starr Gate advising who to contact for help.

After an hour of being stuck in the sand, a digger turned up to eventually help tow the van out of the sea.

Mr Grayson, from St Helens, said: “The water had gone above the level of the wheel by this point, the waves were rocking the van back and forth.

“I got in the sea myself and helped push, the waves were that powerful they were knocking me over.”

Amazingly Mr Grayson managed to get the van started once all the water was flushed out and drive it back to St Helens.

He said: “I’ve driven back in my wet trousers, it’s somehow working OK, although I imagine I will be in the boss’s office tomorrow.”