Holidaymaker in nightmare Cornwall getaway when car slips into lake

What a relaxing BRAKE! Holidaymaker suffers nightmare Cornwall getaway when his electric handbrake failed… leaving his Ford Focus under water

  • Holidaymakers at Parkdean Resort in Newquay spotted the car in the park’s lake 
  • Ford Focus estate slipped into the water after the electronic handbrake failed 
  • Mechanics were called to the scene yesterday (August 2) to retrieve the vehicle 
  • Were you at Parkdean Resort when this happened? Contact [email protected]

An unfortunate holidaymaker started their trip in the worst possible way – by sending their car straight into a lake after the handbrake failed. 

Pictures capture the unfortunate turn of events which led a Ford Focus estate into the waters at Parkdean Resort in Newquay, Cornwall earlier this week as the summer holidays kicked off.

Mechanics at Fourwinds Garage were called to the scene yesterday (August 2) to fish the car out of the lake at the popular resort, which has eight holiday parks dotted around the country. 

The car slipped into the water at Parkdean Resort in Newquay, Cornwall, and mechanics were sent into the lake to help retrieve it

Electronic handbrakes are becoming more common in modern cars. It replaces the easily recognised lever with a button which activates and deactivates the brake pads. 

There are two types of handbrake. One is a hybrid, which is halfway between electronic and traditional. In this system, an electronic motor performs the same function as the lever. 

In a full electric handbrake, two motors act on a mechanism connected to the brake callipers. 

When the button is pressed, the control unit kicks in and activates or deactivates the brake pads, causing them to close and stop the car and release when pressed.

Electronic handbrakes exert more brake force but is said to be more complex to control. 

Fortunately, no one was hurt when the car slipped into the water. 

By the time mechanics arrived, the car was completely submerged in the lake, with pictures showing the vehicle retrieval in full. 

In one picture, a mechanic is seen standing in water up to his waist next to the vehicle. 

In another, mechanics and staff members at the park are seen looking on at the scene as work is carried out to recover the vehicle while using an eastrac machine. 

The machine is a specialised recovery vehicle which is designed to recover cars and other vehicles from hard to reach areas. 

It uses caterpillar tracks to ensure that it can grip difficult to navigate terrain, allowing for the vehicle to be pulled with ease.  

An employee at the Mitchell-based garage said:  ‘An unfortunate holidaymaker experienced an electronic handbrake fail. 

‘Fourwinds Garage were sent on behalf of the AA to fish the car out of the lake at Whiteacres Holiday Park with our Eastrac.’

An employee at the resort added: ‘A faulty electronic handbrake caused the vehicle to roll. 

‘The owners were very good and calm about the situation and were grateful that no one was hurt’.

Electronic handbrakes are becoming more common in newly manufactured cars. 

Everyone will recognise the familiar lever used to put the brakes on when a car is parked, but it is becoming more common to see a small button in its place to activate or deactivate the brakes. 

Mechanics were sent to the scene on behalf of the AA to help remove the car from the water 

The car slipped into the lake after the electronic handbrake failed to engage, according to mechanics and staff at the holiday park 

An electronic handbrake consists of a control unit and a button which activates and deactivates the brake pads, causing them to close and stop the car and release when pressed. 

The electronic handbrake has two motors built within that act on a mechanism which is connected to brake callipers. 

This system gives the driver a much more powerful brake, but can be more difficult to control, given that the driver cannot lift a lever and decide on the strength of the brake. 

Experts say electronic handbrakes hold the car more securely and take up less interior space than traditional levers. Many cars also now come with a built in control function, which keeps a car automatically still on steep roads and allows the driver to pull away smoothly.  

But there are common issues which can contribute to a handbrake failing, such as low system voltage or an open fuse which can cause a malfunction in the system.  

One main issue is a locked handbrake, which can happen after a breakdown or if the battery goes flat. Without power to the control unit, it becomes impossible to release the brake to move the car. 

Other issues involve replacing the rear brake pads. In electronic handbrakes, it requires a specialist and dedicated diagnostics tools to carry out the work. 

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