A lifeboat crew have described their relief when they found that a horsebox swamped by the sea on the Holy Island causeway was empty.
The Seahouses RNLI inshore lifeboat was called to the incident on Saturday afternoon and found the only occupant had managed to find his way to a refuge box, which are built for this eventuality.
But the crew said they were even more relieved when they found out there was no horse inside.
Operations manager Ian Clayton said there were initially reports that two men had been in the van and language difficulties meant it took some time to verify only one person was involved.
“But the crew was very pleased when there was no horse in the vehicle,” Mr Clayton said.
“That would have been quite a difficult situation.”
The lifeboat had been on a training exercise at the Farne Islands when they responded to the report at 3.09pm, during a high spring tide.
The man was rescued from the refuge box and landed safely on the mainland side, where he was handed into the care of local coastguard officers.
Coastguard units from Seahouses and Holy Island had also been mobilised.
Mr Clayton said: “We suspect that language problems may have contributed to this incident.”
Safe crossing times for March 23 were from 8.20am to 1.50pm and it was unsafe to cross again until 8.50pm.
High tide was at 4.20pm.