“Firefighters respond to a report of a car in the marsh at 1010 Bay Street, the City of Beaufort Downtown Marina”
Beaufort, SC – At 10:37 hours on October 7th, 2017, firefighters with the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle in the marsh. Arriving units found a single vehicle in the marsh with the tidal waters on the rise.
“I was in the process of determining if this was a go/no-go situation,” said Firefighter Stephen Tinsely. “The car was just far enough out in the marsh and had just enough water in the passenger compartment that it was hard for me to tell if anyone was in the vehicle.”
Just as FF Tinsely determined he was going to have to don his water-based personal protective equipment and enter the water to check for occupants, the driver came walking up. The driver reported that she was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was able to self-extricate from the vehicle and get to shore prior to the arrival of the firefighters.
“At that point, the environment becomes our main concern,” said Lt. Matt Bowsher, who was the acting Battalion Chief and Incident Commander of the incident. “Any vehicle that enters our waterways has the opportunity to create a pollution event. Fortunately, in this case we did not readily observe any fluids leaking from the vehicle and we made sure to gather up as much of the debris as possible from the marsh.”
The fire department ensured that the SC DNR, the USCG Sector Charleston, and the USCG National Response Center were notified of this incident.
“Anytime we have an issue where the environment could be at risk, we make sure that our partners at the state and local level are notified.” Said Fire Chief Reece Bertholf.
There were no injuries to report as a result of the mishap and investigation into the incident is being conducted by law enforcement.
Video Credit: Chief Berholf, City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department