Firefighters had to come to the rescue of a man last Thursday after his Jeep became stuck in floodwaters on Cowichan Bay Road.
The driver, who was travelling by himself, drove around barricades and ignored signage indicating that the road was closed, then ended up swept away by the current, fortunately coming to rest before his vehicle went into the ditch.
“It could have been disastrous if his truck had been pushed by the current off the road,” Cowichan Bay fire chief Charlie Brown said. “He floated to where he ended up and came to ground again.”
The Jeep got stranded in water up to the windows and hood.
The driver got out and waited on top of the vehicle for firefighters to rescue him. The Cowichan Bay fire department’s boat was too large to put into the water that covered the road, so they had to call the North Cowichan South End fire hall for assistance with a smaller vessel.
“He said he overestimated his vehicle’s ability to go in the water,” Brown said. “People take a real chance when they underestimate the power of water.”
There is a deep ditch on the south side of the road, Brown noted, and the vehicle could have gone under if it had been pushed that way. “You can see how dangerous it can get,” he said. “It was good to see he didn’t get himself in a worse situation than that. He just got away lucky.”
Brown advised drivers to pay attention to the signs and barricades indicating that a road is closed, particularly in flood situations.
“People just have to really consider the danger,” he said. “Water is one of those things, like electricity; people don’t understand it until they’re into it. He lost his vehicle, but he got off lightly. Hopefully he learned a lesson, but it’s an expensive lesson.”