Recovery of submerged truck off Saint Andrews ‘quite a show’

Dave Johnson Photo Shane Robertson of CCM Towing and Recovery hauls a heavy tow line to a truck stuck off the shore of Saint Andrews

Saint Andrews – A half-ton truck stuck in the mud drew a lot of attention on the shore of Saint Andrews last week.
Especially after the tide submerged the stranded vehicle to its windshield – twice.

Shane Robertson works for CCM Heavy Towing and Recovery, located in Upper L’Etang, and St. George. He and his boss, Chris Wright, answered the call from the truck’s owner on Sept. 21, the day after the truck became stuck.

By that time, said Robertson, the truck had been under the water opposite the Kiwanis Oceanfront Camping campground for two turnings of the tide.
The owner and driver of the truck, who Robertson did not identify, is a local man.

“He’s a diver,” said Robertson. “He likes to drive along the low water line. Has done it hundreds of times, and this time it bit him in the butt.”
Robertson said the man hit a soft spot in the mud between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sept. 20, and got stuck.

Several  attempts by the man to get his vehicle free were unsuccessful. Robertson speculates if someone had been able to arrive on scene with another half-ton truck that night, the vehicle could have been pulled free before it was engulfed by the salt water of Passamaquoddy Bay.

Robertson said the man called the company for assistance at 9 a.m. the next day.
“By the time we got there, the water was already back up to the door,” said Robertson. He said the vehicle was eventually recovered by 6:30 p.m., during low tide.
Robertson said he was amazed at how many people showed up to watch the recovery of the truck.

“I kid you not – it was just like the crowd that shows up for the fireworks in Saint Andrews.” Robertson estimates there were between 500 to 1,000 people sitting on the beach or standing watching, as the tow-line was dragged out to the truck.

“The truck was about half a mile out on the beach. It took a thousand feet of cable.”
He said when Wright tooted the tow truck’s horn to signal the beginning of the haul attempt, and to warn people
to get out of the way, “people were clapping and cheering.”

“We were quite the show.”
The large tow truck also had to take precautions to ensure it didn’t become stuck. “It’s 20 times heavier than a half ton.”

Robertson said another company-owned diesel Ford truck was attached to the tow truck to make sure it kept moving once it started its haul.
Once the doomed truck – “it’s a write off, salt water or fresh water – there are too many computer parts nowadays in the engine” – reached the beach, Robertson said local resident Stephen Foster used his truck to pull it the rest of the way across the beach.

Robertson said this is not the first time his company has been called to remove vehicles from the water, noting many communities in Charlotte County are fishing communities, and oftentimes people back their boats into the water “and their truck jumps out of park.”

“But this? This was an original.”