WEST OCEAN CITY –
Individuals attempting to put their boat in the water at the public boat ramp
in the commercial harbor this week discovered a completely submerged tow truck
reportedly stolen several hours earlier.
Shortly before 10 a.m.
on Wednesday, individuals were struggling to put their boat in the water at the
public boat ramp in West Ocean City when they discovered a tow truck at the
foot of the ramp, still resting on its four wheels with its front facing into
It turns out the tow
truck, owned by Coastal Auto Recovery, a Frankford, Del. company, was reported
stolen from a West Ocean City residence around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
According to Ocean City Fire Department Public Information Officer Steve Price,
the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, along with Maryland Natural Resources
Police (NRP), the Coast Guard and the Ocean City Fire Department, responded to
the scene and began to investigate the submerged Ford F350.
The Ocean City Fire
Department emergency services were brought in on standby in case there was a
victim or victims recovered, and the fire department’s dive team also responded
to the scene to assist with a search of a potential victim or victims and with
the recovery of the sunken tow truck, according Price.
Price said the dive team
entered the water and found the tow truck submerged in the deep water at the
foot of the boat ramp still resting on its four wheels with the driver’s side
window open. The tow truck had apparently gone in the water with its front
facing first, suggesting it had not been attempting to pull a boat or trailer
from the ramp.
“It was just sitting at
the bottom of the ramp in fairly deep water,” he said. “Apparently, it drops
off pretty deep fairly quickly, but you could see the lights on the top of the
According to Price, the
commercial harbor is about 10-12 feet deep at its center and about 7-8 feet
deep at the base of the boat ramp. Members of the dive team entered the water
and did an extensive search around the vehicle and branched out to a larger
area of the harbor searching for a possible victim or victims.
The dive team also
assisted another towing service in hooking up the submerged vehicle and pulling
it from the water via the boat ramp. Price said any potential environmental
impact from the tow truck in the water was mitigated.
“We put some little mats
in the water around the truck that absorb gasoline and diesel but not water
because it was leaking fuel,” he said. “There was a little sheen on the water,
but no major environmental impact.”