Steel Cable


Gary Jensen And I had a very close call on 10/22/2000  at our local river.

There is a bridge that has been under construction for a while, and has never been a problem.... until today! Some genius decided to stretch a 1/4" diameter steel cable between a telephone pole, and the steel "I" Beam structure of the bridge. 3 FEET OFF THE WATER!!!  and tightened with a "come a long" type hand winch.

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This was the shore attachment

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The arrow on the bridge abutment shows where the wire was attached.

Apparently they were using the cable to ferry equipment back and forth on a makeshift raft, and never took it down, or flagged it in any way. 

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The raft

Gary was in the lead, and saw the cable at the last second... the cable was about 12 feet away and we were moving at 25 mph. He had barely enough time to dive into the bottom of his Aerocruiser's cockpit. The wire hit the front of his craft at about the windshield flew over it and then impacted his duct- tearing a slot through his duct and then the cable snapped! I went around the other side of the bridge pylon when I saw Gary in trouble.

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Crumby picture, but it does show the I beam side of the cable

I shudder to think what would have happened if he hadn't ducked down, the cable hadn't broken, his wife was a passenger leaving no room to duck (She WAS supposed to be there, but cancelled at the last moment!). What if all of the above happened and I stayed behind him??


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The arrow shows where the duct was hit... Lucky Gary Ducked!

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