So state and city police were on hand Wednesday morning when
"This is No. 66," Morrison said about his 12-year tally as the rusted remains of a white four-door was resurrected from what was intended to be its watery grave, strapped by its front axle to a line connected to the crane and then dumped on the river bank.
"Some type of
The crane operator hung the car in the air for a few minutes to empty the water and muck, while it twisted gently in the breeze. Like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and another
The license plates are missing, of course, but police hope the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is intact so they can contact whatever company insured it with the hope of billing the company and tracking the car's last owner. Insurance companies own any vehicles they paid stolen-vehicle claims on, which would make them responsible for the cost of retrieving them from the river.
The total cost of pulling out the 13 vehicles this week will be
It's a tedious, slow and dangerous process, which began with earlier visits to survey the bottom with sonar to find the wrecks. On Friday, divers wearing wet suits, masks and scuba tanks dove from one of the two rafts to the bottom, where visibility is measured in inches, to fasten the vehicles for the lift to the surface.
The vehicles left a sheen of gas, oil and other fluids on the river as they broke the surface, which Morrison said is a reason for removing them. He mentions the impact on fish, wildlife and people.
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"Do we leave them there?" he asks. "I say take them out. I don't think people want to know that they're drinking out of these cars."
The Merrimack provides drinking water to about 600,000 people along its 125-mile course, including
The cleanup beside the
Most recently, on
But behind the
Last year 648 cars were stolen in
The number peaked in 1998, when 2,000 cars were stolen in the city. Fitzpatrick said car thieves proliferate in
Fitzpatrick said he may have concrete barriers installed along the road beside the club that ends at the river, called
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