A suspicious-looking bump is the only indication that that there is a vehicle in the North Thompson River.

A suspicious-looking bump is the only indication that that there is a vehicle in the North Thompson River.

Workers recover pickup from river

Vehicle had been in North Thompson River since mid-January

“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.

READ MORE: Car found in river (July 24, 2014)

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.



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A crane and other heavy equipment gets set up to recover a pickup truck that went into the North Thompson River about three months ago. The vehicle apparently hit some black ice but the driver was able to swim to shore. The recovery took place on Wednesday, March 7.

A crane and other heavy equipment gets set up to recover a pickup truck that went into the North Thompson River about three months ago. The vehicle apparently hit some black ice but the driver was able to swim to shore. The recovery took place on Wednesday, March 7.

Two men use a basket suspended from a crane to reach a vehicle trapped in the North Thompson River.

Two men use a basket suspended from a crane to reach a vehicle trapped in the North Thompson River.

Workers use a pike pole to pull a sling through the windows of the vehicle in the river.

Workers use a pike pole to pull a sling through the windows of the vehicle in the river.

Clearwater’s Fred Tourand operates the winch on a large bulldozer as it prepares to stabilize the vehicle in the river.

Clearwater’s Fred Tourand operates the winch on a large bulldozer as it prepares to stabilize the vehicle in the river.

A cable from a large bulldozer stabilizes the vehicle in the river. A major concern during the operation was how much effect the current might have once the lift began.

A cable from a large bulldozer stabilizes the vehicle in the river. A major concern during the operation was how much effect the current might have once the lift began.

Workers carry a rubber boat across to the vehicle in the river.

Workers carry a rubber boat across to the vehicle in the river.

Two workers from Cariboo Chilcotin Divers in Quesnel get ready to leave by rubber boat as the crane starts its lift.

Two workers from Cariboo Chilcotin Divers in Quesnel get ready to leave by rubber boat as the crane starts its lift.

The shape of the vehicle starts to become apparent as the crane begins its lift. Because of the snow and ice attached, the initial weight as it came out of the water was seven tonnes, according to the crane operator.

The shape of the vehicle starts to become apparent as the crane begins its lift. Because of the snow and ice attached, the initial weight as it came out of the water was seven tonnes, according to the crane operator.

Water drips out of the truck as the crane lifts it up onto the riverbank.

Water drips out of the truck as the crane lifts it up onto the riverbank.

Nelson Hindle steadys the truck, a 2004 F150, as the crane lowers it to the ground.

Nelson Hindle steadys the truck, a 2004 F150, as the crane lowers it to the ground.