After waiting nearly a week, calm conditions in the ocean Friday morning finally gave officials a chance to recover the SUV that crashed off a fishing pier in Virginia Beach.
A passenger was inside the vehicle and appeared to be an adult male, according to Virginia Beach Police spokesman Jodi Saunders.
At approximately 9:20 a.m., a crane barge quickly lifted the Red Nissan Kick upside down from the water onto the vessel. Workers then covered it with a tarp while spectators watched from the boardwalk.
The resuscitation process began early Friday morning. The police and coroner arrived at sunrise, and the boat was placed in the water at the end of the pier. About ten officials were seen standing at the end of the building.
Strong current conditions prevented officials from trying to recover the SUV, which someone drove along the pier and into the water on Saturday.
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The vehicle moved northwest “out and around the sidewalk,” Saunders said. She added that his location was determined using sonar. The SUV did not have a license plate on the front, and the spot at the back of the vehicle where the license plate was located was no longer attached to the vehicle, she said.
At about 9 a.m., divers attached a hook used to pull him out, Saunders said.
The driver has not been identified. Police said earlier this week that the man who was reported missing may be linked to the incident, but police did not provide further details about the case.
The 74-year-old wooden fishing pier is located between 14th and 15th Streets and extends approximately 650 feet above the ocean.
The car was upside down about 17 feet below the surface and swaying with the current, creating a dangerous situation for divers who would need to attach a crane hook to the car in order for it to be lifted, according to police.
“They’ll take it somewhere where the water is a little calmer,” Saunders said.
She added that the Virginia Beach Police Department’s forensic team will then conduct an investigation and extract the compound.
Dozens of spectators gathered Friday morning to watch the activity from the boardwalk. Police cordoned off the pier and beach while recovery efforts were underway.