Couple's plans to fish sink before they swim

Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Some days of fishing are better than others, but on a day when your truck sinks before leaving the dock well, it doesn't come much worse than that.

That's exactly what happened to Anchorage couple Arlene Hill-stead and Gary Music at the Kenai City Dock Monday afternoon.

"I was backing up at low tide with the trailer," explained Music. "I went a little further off the dock into the mud and it just slipped in."

Trying to beat the tide, they called for a tow truck to pull them out.

Jim Olsen from Jim's Towing arrived just after noon and began attempting to free the vehicle.

"This is my second one today," Olson said. "The first was a Dodge stuck on the beach down out at Captain Cook State Park."

Olson said the first vehicle was small potatoes compared to the truck at the Kenai dock.


Photo by Jeri Cook

"This one's much worse," he said. "I had to get wet on this one."

Olsen waded out in the quickly incoming water to attach the tow cables.

Unfortunately, the first tow truck lost the power take off to the winch, and another truck was called in.

Two hours went by and despite numerous attempts, still no progress had been made in getting the truck out.

"The truck is actually stuck on the runners," Olsen said, referring to the two-feet high, metal guard-rail at the bottom of the ramp.

The group decided to wait two hours for the tide to turn before resuming the operation, which meant having one of the dock's two lanes blocked.

It also meant bad news to Music and Hillstead, who had to watch as the tide rolled in.

Olson graciously waded out to retrieve their insurance information and a few personal affects.

Then the couple watched as the tide rose over the dashboard and various pieces of paper and other debris floated out.

Within minutes the truck was completely submerged.

"Well, it's totaled now," said Music at the grim sight.

Hillstead explained that the incident happened before they even wet a hook.

"We don't even have any fish to show for it," she said.

By the Peninsula Clarion's deadline on Monday afternoon, the truck was still stuck.

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