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The internet has been set ablaze by the story of an unfortunate Ford Bronco that seemingly met a watery end in Maine. During low tide, the Bronco got stuck while running around the shallow Maine bay. It was so bogged down that two trucks with tow straps couldn’t get it dislodged. However, after the tide came in and the Bronco was fully submerged for two days, someone hatched a complex off-road recovery mission that worked beautifully. 

How did they get the submerged Ford Bronco out of the water? 

According to The Drive, after many ideas and attempts to unstick the Bronco from its briny grave, Les Foss from Island Towing was contacted by a diver who worked on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP was worried that the submerged Bronco would be an environmental threat, and they turned their resources and attention to getting it out. 

The plan was set to attach large inflatable airbags to SUV and float it to the surface. This required tons of strategic planning and precise placement of the airbags. The hardest part of the recovery seemed to be getting the timing of tides right. The tide had to be high enough to float the truck but not too high to make recovery more difficult. 

As Foss told The Drive, “We attempted three different tides; the first tide, they didn’t call me until it was too late,” Foss explained. “Then we attempted the second tide, and we weren’t really prepared for the vehicle to not roll on its own. We went back the third time, knowing the vehicle wouldn’t roll on its own, and it was like pulling a frickin’ boulder out of the ocean. We tried and tried, and it just fought us back as hard as it could. We decided that we had two options: One was a diver with bags, or a barge with a crane and lift it onto the barge and take it to a dock someplace.”

This off-road recovery was no short task

Ford Bronco stuck in a bay in Maine get complex off-road recovery
Ford Bronco off-road recovery | Youtube vis Autoblog

Foss mentions that the process took a combined 28 hours over multiple days. The job was difficult becuase the crew had to figure out how to not only lift the weight of the Ford Bronco but one that’s caked in mud and full of water. 

“Together with the help of one of my best friends, we went out and put about a 10,000-pound bag lift on it,” Foss continued. “They floated it back over to where the bar is that goes back to Bar Island, and from that position, I was able to get a tow truck there. That was a full-day process; we started at 6:15 in the morning, and when we were all done, by the time I got back to the shop and unloaded, it was just after 5 p.m.”

What model Bronco was it? 

It’s easy to poke fun at off-roading mishaps such as this one, but these mudflats are a common off-roading spot in the area. Our Bronco driver just got carried away and strayed a little too far from the normal path. I don’t blame him either, becuase he was driving the Ford Bronco Badlands with the sasquatch package. It would be easy to expect too much from such a capable truck. Too bad it wasn’t the water-ready Ford Bronco Everglades. Although, even the snorkel wasn’t going to help here.

Foss mentions that before the floated Bronco can go anywhere, he has to figure out what the monumental group effort will cost and who is to pay for it. He says the Bronco will sit in his yard until that time.


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