No one was hurt when a pickup truck sank to the bottom of a reservoir in West Manheim Township on Tuesday, but it was a close call for the driver, according to the fire chief in that area.

A man who'd pulled up on the Long Arm Reservoir dam to unload kayaks for a paddle around the reservoir found his truck suddenly drifting backward into the water, said Ted Clousher, chief of the Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Co.

It happened quickly enough that the driver wasn't able to open the door; he had to open the window of the truck and climb out of it to safety, Clousher said.

And then the pickup sank quickly, vanishing from view into the bowels of the reservoir, he said.

"Once you get out there about 10, 15 foot, it's a pretty steep drop off," he said. "You couldn't see it at all."

So they called the Penn Township scuba team, a volunteer force that is meant to service Lake Marburg. The team trekked over and more or less swam back and forth along the bottom of the reservoir until a diver bumped into the truck.

"It was very dark and murky water," Clousher said. "He never saw it until he swam into it."

The divers brought down a cable from a big tow truck that was positioned near the shore, and the rig hauled up the pickup truck, which likely will need serious work  before it's able to go anywhere itself again, he said.

He said Hanover Water Co. checked to see if there was any fluid leak into the lake, which provides drinking water. They didn't find any leaks, he said.

"It was just sort of an odd event," Clousher said.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.

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