ROQUE BLUFFS, ME - Two women got lost in Roque Bluff State Park where rescued by an off-duty firefighter only to drown minutes later when they accidentally drove their car into the ocean.
Melissa Moyer, 38, was in Maine from Pennsylvania to visit long-time friend, 37-year-old Amy Stiner, who was five months pregnant. The two decided to go hiking at Roque Bluff State Park but ended up getting lost during a heavy storm.
It was getting dark, so Moyer called for help. The women were found by nearby landowner and member of Sunrise Search & Rescue, Wayne Hansom, who gave them rides back to his house on his ATV. Once there, a warden picked them up and dropped them off at their vehicle in the state park’s parking lot.
But what could have been one of those stories the women laughed about with friends turned disastrous when Stiner made a wrong turn. Police say heavy fog may have contributed to Stiner accidentally driving down a boat ramp and into the ocean.
“The end of the road becomes the boat landing and they just weren’t familiar with it,” Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said. “It was foggy and rainy and they literally drove off the boat landing right into the water. It’s just so easy to do.”
The women called 911 for help, stating the car was filling with water before the line went dead. An hour later search teams found the car 175 ft from shore. Both women and a dog were found in the backseat were they had drowned.
I have no doubt this was just a tragic accident caused by two tired individuals driving on a dark, foggy night in an area they were not used to, so I’m not going to crack any jokes about female drivers – especially since both of these women died horribly. But I will take this opportunity to give out some information that can be very, very useful to you.
If you are ever in a vehicle that is sinking into water, fuck the cell phone. Calling for help just wastes time and does nothing but let people know you are probably dead. Panicking is the leading factor in people drowning in a submerged car, so the first thing you need to do is unfasten your seat belt and immediately roll down a window to swim out of – even the electronic ones will work for several minutes in the water. Worse case, keep one of those cheap window breakers in the car.
Some will argue it’s best to wait until the car has submerged and settled before opening a window to swim out of, but I’d rather get out immediately instead of waiting to see just how far down the car is planning to sink.