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Sonar Reveals Submerged Vehicle Following High-Speed Plunge off Virginia Beach Pier; No Body Found Thus Far

Sonar Reveals Submerged Vehicle Following High-Speed Plunge off Virginia Beach Pier; No Body Found Thus Far
Credits: WPTV

A submerged vehicle off the coast of Virginia Beach remains unrecovered more than three days after it reportedly drove off a pier. Despite sonar technology pinpointing its location on the ocean floor, authorities have encountered challenges due to rough water conditions, hindering visibility and preventing divers from deployment.

The incident occurred early on a Saturday morning before 7 a.m. When police and fire officials arrived, they discovered a completely submerged vehicle near the oceanfront pier. Initial attempts to retrieve the car on Sunday were unsuccessful due to hazardous water conditions.

The Virginia Beach Police Department has employed sonar imaging, a mapping technique that uses sound waves to detect underwater objects, to confirm the vehicle’s location.

Sonar Reveals Submerged Vehicle Following High-Speed Plunge off Virginia Beach Pier; No Body Found Thus Far

Car plunges off fishing Pier (Credits: WTKR)

A sonar image showed the car between 17 and 20 feet below the surface. Despite efforts to recover the vehicle, authorities have hesitated to remove any potential bodies inside, citing concerns about losing evidence essential for investigation.

Sgt. Sergeant Brian Ricardo, from the police department’s special operations bureau, explained that preserving the vehicle’s status as a crime scene is crucial for maintaining evidence. Opening the vehicle underwater risks losing valuable information for investigators.

Video footage from the Chesapeake Fire Department, captured by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), revealed the tire of the submerged car in dark and murky water. The footage indicated the vehicle was upside down and “rocking with the current.”

The ROV’s second clip seemingly showed a flicker of red, but ocean currents at the time were four times stronger than the safety limits for the department’s diving team, preventing further assessment by divers.

The salvage operation contracted to the private company Crofton faced setbacks as tumultuous waters damaged the equipment. The recovery plan has been paused, and authorities are collaborating with the company to devise a new strategy when conditions permit.

Despite ongoing efforts, the vehicle, associated with a family’s missing relative, remains unrecovered. The police department acknowledged similarities between the missing person case and the incident at the pier but couldn’t confirm the association due to the ROV’s inability to discern if the submerged vehicle had a license plate attached. The investigation is ongoing, with updates promised as new information emerges.

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