BAY VEHICLE PLUNGE POSER
THE smell of burning clutch hung in the air as three tow trucks, joined together, battled for more than an hour to haul a submerged vehicle from the water at Naval Island yesterday (Wednesday) morning.
As the maroon Land Rover gradually allowed itself to be pulled from the depths, the smell of fuel was pungent in the seconds before the upturned vehicle’s wheels emerged.
According to unconfirmed reports, the owner of the vehicle, who wished to remain anonymous and chose not to speak to the ZO, was hijacked in the vicinity of Essenwood Spar and driven to Naval Island by his hijacker.
The vehicle reportedly plunged into the water from the high edge of the car park alongside the commercial slipway.
What happened to the alleged hijacker is unknown, but the owner managed to exit the vehicle through one of the windows.
This occurred at about midnight on Tuesday.
Friends of the man said he stayed at the site until just after 7am and then notified them.
ICE Medical Services and SAPS Search and Rescue were called to the scene at about 7.20am.
The man was treated for hypothermia and transported to eNseleni Clinic where he was kept under observation in case of secondary drowning.
He was shaken and in shock, but at the time of going to print, he was in a stable condition.
After confirming no bodies were in the vehicle, police divers attached towing leads to it and the three tow trucks began the extraction.
The car was lying on its roof, completely submerged, about five metres from the slipway.
Once the vehicle was pulled closer to land, it was manoeuvred onto its wheels before being towed out.
By 9.30am, after much effort and snapping of towing leads, the vehicle was out of the water and police officers carried out preliminary checks.
It was then transported to the Richards Bay Police Station and a docket opened.
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