Truck in river sheds light on boat safety

A night on the water almost turned deadly for a local man as he was trying to pull his boat onto his trailer on July 5, 2013. The incident comes as officials with the Department of Natural Resources gives a warning to anyone near or on the Mississippi River this weekend.

David Strain did not expect his truck to be swallowed by the river after he finished a day of boating.

“Everyone’s fine but the trucks not so fine,” says Strain.

Strain was in the truck at the time was lucky to escape. Divers jumped in to help get the truck out.

“I was trying to get the boat on the trailer. I got the truck in too far, the current got the truck and the rest went in,” says Strain.

Finally a tow truck was able to get his truck back onto land, but this accident is also an example of exactly why the Department of Natural Resources is urging people to stay off river.

“Most of the ramps are not workable as far as putting boats in the water, you have to back the vehicle so far in the water to drop the boat in that you could disable your vehicle getting nets stuck in the water as well, or sliding down into the river,” says Jeff Harrison, DNR conservation officer.

A flooded river has made it unsafe for anyone on the water, but some kayakers and boats, like Jeff Vanderkeere are taking the risk.

“There’s a lot of stuff in the water logs, and it’s not too bad,” says Vanderkeere.

However, it could be bad. Debris is just one of the reasons why the river is so dangerous.

“You want to avoid hitting anything with the motor, just swerve one way or another,” says Vanderkeere.

A strong current could make it deadly.

“It’s high and fast but it was you know on this side of the wind damn, it’s pretty smooth and you get out in the channel it’s pretty rough so we kind of stayed on this side,” says Vanderkeere.

Vanderkeere says it’s all about making sure you’re careful when the mighty Mississippi lives up to its name. The Mississippi River is falling and is expected to be back below flood stage by July 7, 2013.