Escaping Being Trapped, Drowning, and The Roll Over….

In the busy season now, I learned long ago to always be safe no matter what. The idea is to get as much done, be in a way that is safe. I always double check my gear, equipment, tools, and have all my safety gear up to date.

There are times when you can cover all your bases, and forward think and be ready for what ever emergency you might face. When I hike into the woods, I always carry some gear. When we got trapped in that snow front in Colorado, I had some basic gear, enough for me and some of it saved all of us.

In this case, I rolled the tractor, above the water, and straight into the water I went. In this case the circumstances lined up perfectly and all the events together created a huge accident. As far as I can recall, I had a load of rocks in the front end loader. I didn’t see that the load was a little high, so when the front tire popped, the load shifted to the downward side and slammed against the bucket. All I can recall is hearing the pop, grabbing the tractor and pulling myself into it as I rolled with the tractor. Seat belt on, I couldn’t do anything….

I remember hitting the side, my right shoulder plowed into something, and as I slide down out of control, I thought about releasing the safety belt and push away from the tractor. As I hit the water, sideways, the roll bar kept the tractor from rolling over completely. I was scared, but kept my wits about me and swam to shore. I got out, shaking from the fear, I saw that I could have drowned or been trapped. I watched the tractor upright itself in the water.

As a physically strong man, my adrenaline pumped through my body and kept me on a fight mode or survival mode for at least a half hour. I recovered the tractor that had shut off upon hitting the water and knew not to start it. I pulled it onto the bank using 4 ton come along, logging cables and lifting straps. I got it far enough out of the water to secure it for the night on trees until I could speak to Rick and get it to Albert’s Garage. Rob helped me and showed me some of the things to do and helped me get it in running condition. 

The cylinders were filled with water, but because I didn’t try to start it, it didn’t go into hydro lock. I was able to save it and it still runs very well…..

What do you think?

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