Dramatic rescue after tourists’ 4×4 gets marooned in mud

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The visitors were stranded for around six hours as two specialist 4×4 teams battled to winch them free. They were navigating a mountain track in Happy Valley, North Wales, as part of the emerging trend for 4×4 tourism in the country but fell foul of treacherous conditions on a byway.

Both tourists, said to be experienced drivers, eventually had a long wait to be freed from the bog.

The byway is legally open to all traffic but is rarely maintained, North Wales Live says.

North Wales 4×4 Response Group, which is a team of volunteers, coordinated the recovery operation.

Leigh Ryder, one of the volunteers, said: “The Dutch visitors had a long wait for our trained volunteers to arrive to recover them from the bog hole.

“Took 20 hours of volunteer time and nearly 300 miles of driving to safely get them out.

“In this case they were lucky, they had a phone signal – many do not. Luckily, they had proceeded with caution and not got the whole vehicle submerged to the chassis.”

Overseas 4×4 tourism is a small but growing part of the visitor economy in Wales. A number of operators have sprung up to cater for enthusiasts who want to combine the country’s challenging terrain with views of its stunning landscapes.

Leigh said the majority of North Wales 4×4 Response Group’s jobs involve tourists from overseas.

Leigh, from Prestatyn, North Wales, said: “Most are from overseas. They are drawn to North Wales for much the same reason as we all are – the chance to drive its green lanes responsibly and get spectacular views.

“We always recommend at least two vehicles. If you suffer a mechanical issue, poor phone signals and remote areas can quickly escalate to more serious complications.”

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