Stew Rhodes woke up early Friday, October 9 to check his crab traps when the unexpected happened.
No stranger to boating, Rhodes backed his boat trailer into the water at the Gulfport Municipal Marina like every other day, but his boat wasn’t the only thing that went into the water. The boat and trailer pulled Rhodes’ truck with them.
“In the 38 years I’ve been here, I’ve seen it happen a couple of dozen times,” said Denis Frain, Gulfport Marina Harbourmaster. “When this happens, it’s usually an operating error.”
Rhodes speculates that the ramp was too slippery and he lost traction.
“I just came out to check my crab traps,” said Rhodes. “I never get a day out on the water like this.”
Gulfport Police Department called in master diver Officer Mike Sigsby to assist Tri-J Towing on the recovery of Rhodes’ 2013 Toyota Tundra, which was completely submerged at the boat ramp.
“She has just over 100,000 miles,” said Rhodes of his truck. “She’s just a baby.”
Frain said the marina staff are ready to assist boaters on the ramp.
“Be patient, engage your emergency brake and put your vehicle in park,” said Frain. “If you need assistance, come into the marina and we’ll throw you a line.”
Rhodes’ truck was recovered in under an hour with the help of the GPD, Gulfport Marina and Tri-J towing.