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Charlotte driver survives slippery slide into saltchuck

"I'm in the water and the wipers are going and the stereo's playing, I hop out, swim back to the car to grab my jerry can, and swim to shore." That's the story in a nutshell as J-P Pineault headed for home after work last Wednesday.
From Sandspit, he drove down to the old government dock at Alliford Bay to get his boat and head across the inlet for Queen Charlotte. J-P is working as a mechanic in Sandspit, and commuting to Alliford Bay in his 1991 Ford Festiva, then crossing the inlet in his V-8 Chev powered fiberglass boat. It's a different commute than most people have, but for J-P, it's just normal.
Except last Tuesday, around 5:00 pm, when he admits he wasn't paying full attention to his driving.
"I was just cruisin' down there, I was going a little bit fast or something. I tried to stop about half-way down the dock, and just kept sliding," he said. Even after pumping the brakes, nothing.
"(The) brakes go on, wheels lock right away, (they) didn't even slow me down, Oh boy," says J-P, and the car kept slipping and sliding, straight for a 6x6 square timber rail, which he thought would put a quick end to his slide.
"I hit that like it wasn't even there," he said, "boom, I'm in the water". With the wipers going and the stereo playing.
The car went in nose first, caved in the hood, and then surfaced to float high enough that the tops of the wheels were visible.
J-P recovered his gas can from the back of the car, swam to shore, and noticed the car was still floating.
"So I go get my boat and try to tow it back to the ferry landing," he says, which is farther away than he had thought, especially with a car in tow. About 200-feet out, his towline broke and the car, finally, sank. "Gone," he said.
"Then I had to catch the 7:30 ferry back (to Queen Charlotte) and use the Hiab, wait for the tide to go down, dive for it, hook a line on it and use the Hiab to bring it back to shore," he matter-of-factly describes the next hour or so.
J-P says he was going about his usual 30 km/h when he hit the dock, and thinks it was extra-slippery because it had been dry for a while. "I don't know, it was really slippery, I wasn't expecting it to be," he said.
He has nothing but praise for the '91 Festiva, which he bought only in January. "That was the best $200 I ever spent", he said, "They float like a b--t--d. If I had been able to float it to shore, I probably would have been able to turn it over and drive it away."
He also says it was floating so well, about 10 minutes in all, he could have stayed in the car and bailed and floated to shore.
The experience was 'good times, though," he said, adding he always wanted to try it before but had been talked out of it by friends. "As soon as I was going over to the water, I thought 'I wanted to do this one day, and I guess now I'm doing it now'."
It's not the first time J-P has turned bad luck into good. A couple of years ago he spend four and a half hours in the frigid waters off Moresby Island when his boat sank, and lived to tell about it.
Did he learn anything from his latest experience? "Maybe there should be a cement abutment at the end of those docks, and possibly (I should have) start stopping before I started stopping."