Pride and joy lost to the Wallambah

IT was a recovery mission rather than a lifesaving one, when a small crowd gathered on the shores of the Wallambah River last Tuesday to witness the resurrection of  20-year-old Joshua Hennessey’s 2007 Holden Crewman.

The Nabiac-based owner of the car himself wasn’t there to watch as he was still too traumatised after seeing it roll into Wallambah River 24 hours before.

“He keeps it spotless,” his mother said, eyeing off the brown river encompassing her son’s car.

“He keeps it spotless. We’re surprised the water didn’t just roll off it, considering how much he polishes it.”

Joshua Hennessey’s mother

“We’re surprised the water didn’t just roll off it, considering how much he polishes it.”

It had been 24 hours since the car rolled backwards down the boat ramp with its boat trailer still attached, fortunately missing Joshua’s Pop, who was still sitting in the boat on the water waiting to load it up. 

“They had been out fishing. He said he backed the car and trailer down, got out of the car and heard a ‘clunck’ then the car started rolling down the ramp into the water. Apparently it floated for a bit until it suddenly went down, sinking and pulling the trailer down with it,” Sonia said.

Coming to a rest on the muddy riverbed four metres below the surface, it travelled around 50 metres into the middle of the river before it sunk.

“He’s devastated. He has worked ever since he was in high school to save money. He’s just finished his apprenticeship.”

The prognosis for the car is not looking good for the diesel mechanic, and why it rolled is not yet known. The only comfort is the fact that Joshua is not alone.

“It happens more often than you’d think,” the tow truck driver in charge of the winch attempting to pull the car and trailer out said.

“Generally the run is during the holiday season. I’d say from either human or mechanical error.”

He added that sometimes the boat ramps haven’t been well maintained, and they become slippery. 

“Often finding the car is the biggest thing,” he said, pointing to the murky water and the two divers swimming around attaching floats and cables to the unseen car underneath.

Progress was slow with debris underneath hindering the car’s movement over the riverbed.