BAY VE­HI­CLE PLUNGE POSER

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - FRONT PAGE - Tam­lyn Jolly

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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