Truck and trailer end up in St. Lawrence River

The back end of a Toyota 4Runner Limited is seen underwater at the end of the RCAF boat launch in Cornwall, Ont. on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. The owner says the braking system failed as he was putting his boat in the water. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

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Video of salvage operation at the bottom of this story.

CORNWALL – A competitive fisherman ended up having a bad day after his brand new truck, along with his boat trailer, ended up in the St. Lawrence River Thursday morning.

The black and copper-coloured Toyota 4Runner Limited and boat trailer ended up jackknifed, submerged in about 15 feet (4.5 meters) of water off the end of the RCAF boat launch around 11:30 a.m.

“I could not stop the car. It just happened so fast…I don’t know what happened in the brake system,” the man from Gatineau, Que. told Cornwall Newswatch. “I was really scared.”

He was able to jump from the truck and wasn’t hurt.

The member of a local fishing club was going out for practice ahead of a tournament in two days. Even with this ordeal, he still plans to participate.

The angler was also fortunate the boat wasn’t strapped down to the trailer and it floated away from the catastrophe. It was tied up on the other side of the boat launch while emergency officials devised a salvage plan.

Cornwall Fire Services, Cornwall RCMP and a towing company were on scene for the salvage and investigation, which took about 2.5 hours.

Herb’s Towing operators Jeff Chambers (pointing) and Joshua Andre devise a plan to pull out a truck and trailer submerged in 15 feet of water at the end of the RCAF boat launch in Cornwall, Ont. on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. The owner says the braking system failed as he was putting his boat in the water. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Jeff Chambers, tow operator with Herb’s Towing, had to put on a wetsuit and, with a safety line monitored by Cornwall firefighters, free-dove to hook up the truck in order to pull it out.

Pulling the truck and trailer from the water brought a small crowd of onlookers, many pulling out their cell phones to record the moment.

Water pours out the back of a Toyota 4Runner Limited shortly after being pulled out of the St. Lawrence River at the Cornwall boat launch on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. The truck was completely full of water. The owner says the brakes failed as he was putting his boat in the water. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

VIDEO: Herb’s Towing operator Jeff Chambers coordinates the salvage operation.

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