Eerie new footage shows the car that mysteriously raced off a Virginia Beach pier now lying submerged in the Atlantic — as officials still don’t know if anyone was inside.
The shocking incident captured by a passerby Saturday showed the vehicle speeding along the 14th Street Fishing Pier with its brake lights blinking sporadically before flying into the ocean.
It was eventually found upside down 17 feet below the surface, with rough conditions making it impossible for divers to safely recover it or find out if any bodies are inside, authorities said.
Video shot by a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) shows the car rocking with the current in the murky water.
“The ROV couldn’t provide clear images or identifying tags,” the Chesapeake Fire Department wrote in a post with the short clip.
Virginia Beach police Sgt. Brian Ricardo told reporters that the vehicle is “unstable” as it lies on its roof.
”The fear for us is not that it will drift but that one of the divers will get entangled in the car,” he said, WTKR reported.
“Nobody wants to bring resolution to this more than we do,” Ricardo said. “We are as frustrated as everyone else that we can’t get in the water, and we can’t do something to get this moving forward.”
He said the Detective Bureau also is investigating the possible death after the car crashed through a metal gate about 7 a.m. Saturday and sped along the pier before taking the plunge.
Virginia Beach firefighters responded within four minutes and a rescue swimmer tried to locate the vehicle and whoever may have been inside, Ricardo said, WAVY reported.
By the time the police special operations team arrived, the fire department personnel had already been pulled from the water, he said, adding that his officers located the car using side-scan sonar.
“Ocean currents measured 3.9 knots, 4X outside the safety parameters for VBPD’s divers,” police said in a statement Monday.
“Strong currents & extremely low visibility made it too dangerous for divers to navigate & assess the area safely, especially near a submerged SUV rocking on its roof in the turbulent current,” it added.
On Sunday, a crew from Crofton Industries contracted by police tried to retrieve the vehicle but had to postpone the efforts because the waves were too strong, according to WAVY.
“They broke two bridles that hold their cranes in place, and they snapped a mooring line from the crane barge onto their dive boat. That’s how violent it was out there,” Ricardo said.
“If you’re standing at the oceanfront and that current hits you and you get knocked off your feet while you’re standing in your bathing suit, imagine wearing 90 pounds of diving equipment,” he added, 13NewsNow reported.
The salvage crew will determine when it will be safe to continue the recovery efforts, officials said.
“The goal of this mission remains to safely retrieve the vehicle, reunite any and all occupants with their loved ones, and maintain the integrity of all evidence,” police said.
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