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Truck drives into P.E.I.'s North Lake harbour

Diver Duane Ching assisted in retrieving a truck from North Lake harbour on Sunday. - Photo by Jeffrey MacNeill
Diver Duane Ching assisted in retrieving a truck from North Lake harbour on Sunday. - Photo by Jeffrey MacNeill - Contributed

NORTH LAKE, P.E.I. - A 63-year-old Kings County man was taken to hospital and released with minor injuries after the truck he was operating drove off the wharf at North Lake harbour Sunday afternoon.

Kings district RCMP responded to the call and say bystanders were able to throw a life ring to the driver as the vehicle started to float away from the wharf.

RCMP report the driver was released from hospital that same evening.

Jeffrey MacNeill, who has a tuna and deepsea fishing business, says word on the wharf is that after a “brand new Dodge truck” landed in the water, the driver got out of a window and climbed on the roof of the truck, where he was rescued.

MacNeill said the driver was fellow fisherman Leslie Squires of Morell.

MacNeill, who was away from the area with his family when he heard word of the incident, is also a volunteer firefighter. He headed over to see what was going on and got there in time to snap a few photos of the truck being extracted from the water.

“There’s a lot of tide in that harbour, and when it came, it took the truck down through the harbour as it was sinking. They got some divers and they hooked onto the truck and towed it back up.”

Sheila Eastman, harbour manager with the North Lake Harbour Authority, said she was notified after the incident occurred. She said the truck drove through the 14-inch wheel guard and into the water.
“On its way in, it clipped the side of one vessel, taking about 10 to 15 feet of ribbon off it and doing some damage to the vessel.”

Eastman said the RCMP, Campbell’s Towing, the Eastern Kings Fire Department, various boat captains and mates, two divers and a smaller vessel all assisted in the incident.

It took roughly three and a half hours to get the truck out of the harbour, she said, adding it’s not something she’s seen happen there before.

“It’s a freak (incident) but it’s a very minor thing, compared to what took place in Tignish last week,” Eastman said, referring to the Sept. 18 incident where the Kyla Anne fishing vessel sank near the North Cape reef, claiming the lives of Captain Glen DesRoches and his long-time helper Maurice Getson.

“So, we’re very happy the driver got out of the truck without anything taking place. We can count our blessings on that one.”

The RCMP contacted the Coast Guard Center to notify them of the event, and to inform them that no petroleum spills were observed from the incident.

The wharf and a boat docked at location received minor damaged.

The RCMP are continuing to investigate.

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