“It was an interesting pull.”
That was how Nelson Hindle of Clearwater Towing described the recovery of a pickup, a 2004 F150, that had gone into the North Thompson River about 20 km south of Avola in mid-January.
Hindle said he understood the vehicle had hit a patch of black ice before going into the river. The driver was able to swim to shore and was picked up by passersby.
“It took a lot of planning. We’ve been waiting for a window of opportunity with the weather,” he said.
They brought in a heavy lift crane from Vernon to do the recovery. With the snow and ice accumulated on the truck, plus the strong current, they were concerned that even their large tow-truck could not safely do the recovery, he said.
They also attached a cable from a large bulldozer to the pickup to make sure it did not drift downstream once the lift began.
As it turned out, the crane operator said the vehicle weighed seven tonnes as the lift began.
“It was definitely full of ice,” said Hindle.
Swiftwater-certified riggers from Cariboo-Chilcotin Divers in Quesnel did the actual recovery work in the river, working from a basket suspended from the crane and then from a rubber boat in the river.
The recovery took place on Wednesday, March 7.