A Pocatello Idaho fisherman was injured Tuesday morning while trying to launch his Hughes model fishing craft. Witnesses say that the man, in his 50’s, had backed his boat into the water, but that his rear tires had stopped over the rope line attached to the bow of the boat. They say the man climbed back into his pickup, but not completely. They say he had one leg on the brake and one leg hanging out the door so he could see when the tires cleared the rope.
At that point they say the man took the truck out of park and it began to roll backwards. They say the jerking motion jostled the man out of the pickup and onto the concrete boat ramp – and the truck’s left front wheel rolled over his leg and smacking his head against the dock bulkhead. The pickup continued down the boat ramp into the water. The boat was in the water, but the truck was submerged, including the trailer.
Arriving paramedics discovered the man had a head wound and a very badly broken leg. They loaded him up into an ambulance and took him to PCH on the other side of the bay. They say he was alert and talking all the way over.
Then, to remove the truck and trailer. But the Rowley’s tow truck driver quickly ascertained that this was going to be an underwater attachment job. So a diver was called in. Between the two they fashioned a line to the undercarriage and soon had the boat and trailer back on dry ground.
Lots of clothing on clothes racks indicated he was planning on being over on the coast for a while. He will be, but not the way he expected.
Lessons from fire rescue officials: Don’t try to do anything tricky half-in and half-out of a vehicle. Don’t underestimate the strain on your vehicle when launching a boat, because when it releases, big things can move quickly and unpredictably. And don’t be in a hurry. Take your time with such operations.