Recovery efforts after a car left a fishing pier in Virginia Beach

Recovery efforts after a car left a fishing pier in Virginia Beach

Jane Alvarez-Wertz and Chris Horn

10 hours ago

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAFI) – More than two days after a car left the end of the 14th Street fishing pier in the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, it is still underwater.

On Monday, Virginia Beach Police detailed the response timeline so far and released a video showing the submerged car. The video was filmed by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a submersible from Chesapeake City.


Sgt. Brian Ricardo of VBPD Special Operations spoke with the media Monday afternoon and provided updates on the recovery of the vehicle.

He said there was a three-pronged approach to achieving VBPD. There is the water component, the traffic safety team, and the detective bureau, which is looking into investigating the possible death.

Sgt. Ricardo was only able to speak to the aquatic portion of the investigation, which is managed by him and includes the marine patrol and dive team.

The car crashed into the metal gate at the entrance to the pier just before 7am on Saturday and traveled to the end, where it entered the water.

There is still no information about who, if anyone, was in the car or the cause of the accident.

“No one wants to find a solution to this more than us,” Ricardo said. “We’re just as frustrated as everyone else because we can’t get in the water, and we can’t do anything moving forward.”

Once the call about the incident went out, VBPD said multiple public agencies responded to the pier. The Virginia Beach Fire Department responded within four minutes and sent a rescue swimmer into the water first to try to locate the vehicle and rescue anyone inside. By the time VBPD responded, the VBFD swimmers had already been pulled from the water.

The water depth at this location was 17 feet at high tide, according to Sgt. Ricardo.

He said his first two officers on the scene used side scan sonar to search for the car and as soon as they passed in front of the curb, they immediately located the car using sonar.

Sonar images showed that the car was on its roof and unstable. They’re not worried about the car drifting, but crews can’t get into the car until it stabilizes.

“The speed of the ocean currents reached 3.9 knots, 4 times outside safety standards for VBPD divers. The strong currents and extremely low visibility made it very dangerous for divers to safely navigate and assess the area, especially near a submerged SUV that was shaking,” the VBPD said in a statement Monday. On its surface in the turbulent current.

Sonar image provided by Virginia Beach Police.

On Sunday, the crew of Crofton Diving Company The contracted Virginia Beach police attempted to extract the car from the ocean, but the Virginia Beach police confirmed that they had to postpone efforts because the waves were very violent.

“I can understand people’s frustrations,” Sgt. Ricardo said. “But to tell you how serious it was, they broke two reins holding their winches in place and cut the mooring rope from their crane barge to their dive boat.”

Crofton Salvage will decide, based on several factors, when it is safe to return to the water to continue recovery efforts.

“The goal of this mission remains to safely recover the vehicle, reunite all occupants with their loved ones, and preserve the integrity of all evidence,” Virginia Beach Police said.

Crofton has worked with VBPD divers in the past when vehicles ran off the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Stay with WAVY News 10 on air and online for continued updates as we get the latest on this developing situation.

Follow the latest news on WAVY.com.

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