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Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Gary D., Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Chuck Tribolet

    Chuck Tribolet Loggerhead Turtle Rest in Peace

    How did the guy get out, and the girls be locked in?
  2. Rick Inman

    Rick Inman Advisor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Gary can answer you better, but I've been there a few times, and IMO you'd have to be way over the limit to think that you're still on the road when you head off that ramp. In the snow, maybe. But right now....

    But that way it works is, the road turns to the left, but if you keep going straight, you head right past the parking lot, past the bathrooms and straight into the drink.
  3. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
  4. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    It sure seems that we get our fair share of other than good drivers. Same lake, same ramp just different times and people.

    I had an SUV for 5.5 years and I like my car a lot better. I have plenty of room for both. :D
  5. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    QUOTE=Chuck Tribolet]How did the guy get out, and the girls be locked in?[/QUOTE]
    ? Our traffic guys are still trying to figure that one out.

    Gary D.
  6. Ben_ca

    Ben_ca Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SF Bay Area
    From your first post
  7. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver


    So exactly how long does it take for the average car or SUV to "flood" after its been submerged? (windows up, vehicle upright, etc).

    This might sound like a crazy question, but most of us have only seen submerged vehicles in "Hollywood" movies where they submerge with a person still in them, beating on the windows wanting out... etc..

    Obvisousely you can't open the door until the water equalizes, but do the power windows still work?

    What's the so called recomended "procedure" should a sober person drive his car into a lake and submerge it?

    Oddly enough, there was a story in the news not to long ago where a car went into the water and one of the victums called 911 on his cell phone before the submerged.car filled with water,
  8. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    I don’t know, there are so many variables.

    We have had vehicles go over an embankment and float off a few feet before sinking. We have had others that have never had the tires leave the ground and we follow the tire tracks right to them.

    Some will float and some go down like a rock. One thing for sure, if people didn’t panic they could have a much better chance at getting out.

    Having those one of those rescue hammers would help but they will normally only work before the vehicle goes under.

    The best bet is a Spring Punch. That’s what we used on this vehicle. If you get one make sure they are brass and not aluminum or steel. We braise a ring on the cap to hook a small line on them.



    Just remember to use the punch or the hammer on a corner. You can beat on the center all day long and it may not break.

    Sometimes you can do it with the sharp point of a knife. That works well in the air but not as well submerged.

    Anyone who drive around any water should have one of them onboard.

    Windows should still work underwater once the pressure is close to equalizing. Most that we roll on still have the headlights on which sure makes them easy to find. Sometimes the lights are on for hours.

    On this vehicle the right front passenger window was down a few inches which helped in the rapid flooding.

    I’m sure some will be a little Hollywood and others will be less dramatic. Some have had such a high BAC that they may not have even had an idea as to what was happening.

    Gary D.
  9. ArthurGerla

    ArthurGerla Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
    As it happens there was a lengthy piece on this in yesterdays newpaper over here (here being Holland, a notoriously watery country). On a population of some 16 million people, we see about 750 vehicles ending up in the drink annually due to low visibility, slippery roads and driver exhaustion or inebriation, resulting in about 30 deaths.

    "It is a common misconception that you should stay in the car until it is fully submerged. Modern cars stay afloat for seven or eight minutes. Valuable time which must be put to use".

    The article continues to describe the advised course of action:
    • Switch on headlights and inside lighting. This aids both yourself and any onlookers or rescuers. Unbuckle seat belts.
    • If you are alone, roll down the window and get out.
    • If there are more people in the vehicle you should exit simulaneously to prevent it tipping over.
    • If the windows won't open you will need to stay inside (with windows closed) until the car is completely flooded. There will be an air bubble at the highest point in the car, either in the front or the back. Find it.
    • Once the vehicle hits the bottom, use hands and feet to open the door, take a last breath from the air bubble and get out. Push out any children first, holding on to them by the wrist.
    • Get out of the water as soon as possible to prevent hypothermia.
    • If you need to dive to the vehicle to retrieve a victim, don't go head first, lest you hit something and become another victim.
    Source: NRC Handelsblad

    We don't have many SUV's or pickup trucks here, so YMMV.
  10. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    It’s well known that there is a quality difference between cars built in the European countries and the US. If we were to place two similar size vehicles in the water under identical conditions I would bet on ours not lasting any where close to seven or eight minutes. Maybe one, which is still a lot of time.

    A funny one we had back in the early 80’s, the gal got out on her own, involved a VW Bug. New they will float like a boat. But after years of Bug abuse and modifications it had lost it’s watertight ability but still had the reputation.

    After leaving the highway, clearing several boats in a marina and hitting the water it didn’t even bob once. Per witnesses it hit and disappeared. We recovered it at 70’.

    It seems like the majority of our winter accident’s water related or not, involves SUV’s or a 4X4 of some kind.

    Year around it seems like the majority of submerged vehicles are 4X4’s or SUV’s. We do get our share of cars but I guess when you’re in something bigger you feel invincible and the stupid driver gland engages.

    Gary D.

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