Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched 0535 Sunday 26 June 2011 to a reported "vehicle in the pond" next to the Eagle Harbor Swim Club on Harbor Town Drive in Carrollton. Carrollton VFD units Rescue-10, Medic-11, Zone-10 with Boat-10, Zone-11, Car-10 and Chief-10 responded to the scene. First arriving unit reported a small car partially submerged with no visible occupants. Carrollton volunteers immediately donned life jackets (image 1) and entered the water with rescue rope and other life-saving equipment and swam to the vehicle. LT M. Pierce reached the vehicle moments before it sank from view (image 2) and with the other two volunteers, FF R. Elswick and EMT K. Castagna, took turns diving into the submerged automobile (image 3) to confirm there was no one inside. The license plate was recovered from the vehicle and law enforcement officers on scene (Virginia State Police and Isle of Wight Sheriff's Department) identified the vehicle owner and notified the family (images 4 and 5). A ladder from E-10 was placed into the pond to allow the rescuers easier access to the pond (image 6). Newport News Fire Dept. (NNFD) Special Operations Marine Incident Response Team (MIRT) was requested at 0557 to search the pond for the vehicle occupant(s) and upon arrival the divers immediately entered the water (Images 7 & 8). The MIRT divers confirmed there were no victims in or near the vehicle ((Images 9 & 10.) Recovery of the vehicle had to be accomplished before the MIRT divers could complete the search of the pond and Wesley Brown of Brown's Automotive in Smithfield began site preparation for the recovery operation (Image 11) The divers then attached hooks to the vehicle to enable recovery (Image 12) and two pilings had to be removed by Carrollton volunteers with chain saws to allow the vehicle to be extricated (Image 13). Divers assisted in attaching tow hooks to the vehicle (Images 14 & 15) because the surface of the pond was covered with a sheen of fuel and oil from the submerged vehicle. The car was lifted from the pond and prepared for transport (Images 16 & 17) and Carrollton CPT B. Hubbard assists the diver to clean oil and fuel residue from his suit (Image 18) as well as from all the other equipment used in the recovery operation. The driver of the vehicle returned to the scene before the vehicle recovery operation was complete making an extensive underwater search of the pond unnecessary. All Carrollton volunteers were cleared from the scene and available by 0821.


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