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Driver tells of escape as truck fell from ferry: 'A matter of seconds'

The back of Dean Snow's dump truck is seen in the water following an incident at the Change Islands ferry terminal on Feb. 8, 2016 in a handout photo.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dean Snow
February 09, 2016 - 2:31 PM

CHANGE ISLANDS, N.L. - Dump truck driver Dean Snow narrowly escaped Monday night as his vehicle fell into the frigid Atlantic from a poorly docked ferry in northeastern Newfoundland.

The truck slid between the MV Capt. Earl W. Winsor ferry and the Change Islands wharf at about 6 p.m., seconds after Snow, 48, went out the window. Transportation Minister Al Hawkins said Tuesday his department is investigating, and all vessels have been told to review docking procedures. Here is Snow's account of the drama, as told Tuesday to reporter Sue Bailey of The Canadian Press:

It was an International dump truck with 14 tonnes of sand aboard.

We docked, they put the rope out to the wharf and the guy guiding me off, he told me to come off.

When I was going off, the boat started sliding away from the wharf and the rope was slack. And when she was sliding off, I saw it and I was watching the rope.

The boat kept moving and kept moving, and once far enough I knew then there was no chance.

The ramp cable busted and she went down and started busting the headlights out. I was getting out of the truck and got on the fender and the bonnet (hood).

There was a guy there on the wharf so I asked him to help me get off of it. He grabbed my hand and I jumped off.

I was really close (to going in the water). When he grabbed me, by the time I turned around, the truck was going.

It was just frightening. It was too quick. But I saw it coming because I was looking at the rope and I knew the rope wasn't tight enough to stop her. Careless. I guess it's the guy who tied on the rope, in my opinion.

They never had the rope tight. And they only had one rope out, instead of having two.

It was only a matter of seconds and the truck was gone. It's at the bottom of the harbour at the Change Islands ferry terminal.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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