TENANTS HARBOR — Friday, Oct. 11, at approximately 12:35 p.m., Knox County Communications Center received a report of a vehicle in Tenants Harbor off of Commercial Street.
For approximately 90 minutes, St. George Fire Department personnel stood by as an Automasters wrecker reined in a blue Suburban that bobbed intermittently above and below the waves.
According to the Suburban’s owner, David Bruce, of Glen Allen, Virginia, the vehicle had been parked on the boat launch ramp, and further secured by activation of the emergency brake, in preparation for hauling a boat from the water.
Something shifted, according to Bruce, who could not pinpoint what exactly had happened. Before he knew it, the car and its attached trailer were rolling backwards into the deep. By the time crews arrived on scene, the sight of the vehicle, at times, was limited to a single antennae and an extra-dark shadow on the water’s surface.
The duration that the vehicle was in the water – 12:30 to 2 p.m. – happened to be between high tide and low tide. 10:23 a.m. was high at 9.77′; 4:23 p.m. was low.
Still, those waves of the in-between tides crashed over and through the vehicle’s windows as Keith Miller sought a tow hold on the vehicle’s front bumper before securing a chain.
The vehicle was eventually drawn back to the ramp – except, it pulled slightly sideways, pulling wheels into the ramps’ rock wall and forcing the wrecker crew to try a few different tactics. After towing from an angle produced unsatisfactory results, the tow truck then repositioned on the parking lot above, pulling the vehicle’s front above and around the rock wall.
Consensus from the wharf is that vehicles have been known to go into Tenants Harbor, but the last incident was many years ago.
Reach Sarah Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org