Local mechanic and extrication aficionado Mike Astry and a convoy of trail rigs successfully removed the soggy Tesla-X from Centerville Beach west of Ferndale today.
Astry told us last night he and a friend drove their Jeeps to the site of the water-logged Tesla and were able to successfully drag it about 20 feet up the beach. They left the rest of the extrication to the next day.
This morning, Astry and company rolled deep onto the sands of Centerville beach with a cavalcade of Jeeps and trucks rigged out with winches ready to save the floundering electric car.
Using the combined strength of all of the winches, the Tesla slowly came free from the soft, deep sands and Astry was able to bring the vehicle upon his car trailer removing the car-of-the-future from the timeless sands of the North Coast.
The driver of the Tesla told Astry that he is from the Bay Area and “he drives on the beach down there all the time.” Astry told him, “It’s a lot softer up here.”
Astry drove the Tesla owner to his hotel and as of this morning, the owner has flown back to his Bay Area home.
Astry estimated the Tesla weighed 10,000 pounds from all the water and sand it had taken on having been awash in the surf. He added the mechanics of electric cars make them specifically difficult to extricate because they stay in gear.
Astry estimated this year he has towed approximately 60-70 vehicles from North Coast beaches saying, “A lot of people go out there and get stuck.”
Local towing companies like Pacific Towing do not have tow trucks that can go out on the beach so they reach out to Astry and company for aid. He assists the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office from time to time when they have extrication needs.
Astry said his work extricating vehicles from local beaches is a side gig and a passion. “I make a little money here or there. Sometimes drivers give me money.” He said, ultimately, he does not want to see beaches polluted and vehicles abandoned. “If vehicles start getting stuck on the beach, they’ll close down all the beaches,” he added.
For anyone interested in taking their vehicle onto local beaches, Astry reminds them that “all wheel drives do not always mean all-wheel drive.” He said it would be beneficial to drop your tires’ air pressure, have bigger tires, and a lighter vehicle.
If you ever find yourself and your vehicle succumbing to the sticky sands of the North Coast, consider calling Mike Astry at (707)468-6664 to save you.