A crew from UESI working in a remote area of the Florida Everglades recently assisted Florida Law Enforcement and Emergency Responders in an underwater rescue attempt following a traffic accident on Alligator Alley. A Waste Management truck left the road at high speed and landed in a 20’ deep canal after going airborne and impacting a concrete weir wall spanning the canal. Florida Highway Patrol initially responded, and the Trooper dove into the canal to rescue the driver. Due to the depth and almost zero visibility water, he was unable to locate him.
FHP requested assistance from the UESI crew working on a nearby water control structure. Since it was still possible that the driver was alive and trapped in an air pocket, time was of the essence. UESI moved its surface supplied dive station to the area in under 10 minutes and entered the water to begin a search. Law Enforcement Officers were forced to kill several large alligators in the area to ensure the diver’s safety. The rescue was further complicated by the fact that the truck’s impact with the weir wall severed the cab from the body of the truck.
After a brief Search, UESI’s diver was able to locate the driver still trapped in the cab of the truck. Unfortunately, he did not survive. The UESI diver was able to free the driver and lead Law Enforcement recovery divers to his location.