Stuck crossing a river

Stuck crossing a river

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024, at 9:03 p.m. (MT), we received a request for help with an offroad recovery in New Mexico. The requester, Marley Gutierrez, submitted the following information: “stuck in the Gila River going to Turkey Creek about six crossing out / I’m not with the vehicle.”

We contacted Marley the same night we received the request. We verified his information, the GPS location of the vehicle, and the situation. The vehicle was left behind a week before. With this information, we decided to start looking for volunteers in the morning.

The following morning, we submitted the request to local volunteers within a 150-mile radius.

This was a tough recovery all around. Far away volunteers, vehicles not running and submerged in water, plus multiple water crossings in order to get to the vehicle itself. We needed at least a team to perform this recovery.

On the first day, we had a few volunteers trying to gather more information before committing to help. On Friday, we had Kari Florness and Philip Vanveen coordinate to attempt the request in the morning at around 10 a.m.

We also had Mario Przepiora help find more volunteers from other local groups. Philip also invited a member of their local 4×4 group, but this person could not make it through the water crossings, and this forced Philip to return, leaving Kari to continue with another group of local volunteers who joined in the efforts.

By 7:00 p.m., Kari closed the request and announced they were in their way out with the vehicle free.

Kari sent us a few photos and this quick note a few days later:

The guys that came up from Las Cruces weren’t game to keep crossing water, so they left at the 4th water crossing. Someone else local showed up with a vehicle with a monster winch. They were able to anchor two trucks together and winch it out. I had 5 qts of oil, and someone else had an oil pan, so they pulled the plugs, got the water out of the pistons, then drained the oil and refilled it, and darned if it didn’t start! They towed it to a better spot so they could go get ATF and do the same to the transmission before driving it. I ended up not doing much but providing some oil and tools and a lot of moral support. It was a super fun and beautiful trip, though, and it was great to see it be a success. 

We appreciate the help of Kari and Philip, as well as all volunteers from the local group who were able to get the vehicle out. You guys are amazing. (offroad recovery in New Mexico)

Needless to say, we need more volunteers in this area! If you would like to receive a text message when we get a request near you, create your account here:

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