Bullet the Kevlar boat lived up to its name this weekend when it took an out of water voyage. Bullet prematurely launched from its trailer, skidded over a concrete barrier, landed in two lanes of traffic and was subsequently dragged 7/10 of a mile uphill but, miraculously, had little damage to its hull.
“It was just a case where a man launched his boat a few miles before the lake,” joked DPS patrol officer Bert Cheney.
A 39-year-old Valley man was towing Bullet up to Roosevelt Lake for some lastminute practice before a fishing tournament Sunday around 6 a.m. when disaster stuck near milepost 224.
The man was driving a pickup towing a two-axle boat trailer with Bullet, a ski and fish boat, securely attached.
“He was northbound on Highway 87 when one of the axles broke on the trailer, causing the trailer to whip from side to side,” Cheney said. “When it whipped to the left and struck the concrete barrier wall between north and south lanes, it launched the boat over the wall and it came to rest in the high-speed lane of southbound traffic.”
But Bullet managed to land upright on its hull.
“It never capsized or took on water,” Cheney said.
The trailer came off the hitch and came to a stop on the right side of the northbound lanes.
Passing motorists in the southbound lanes put flares around Bullet to warn upcoming traffic.
When Cheney arrived on scene, he knew he needed to remove the boat from the highway so he attached a tow strap to his Expedition and dragged Bullet safely out of the road.
“The driver felt that he was very fortunate because his vehicle was not damaged and no one struck the boat,” he said.
When the boat was loaded onto a new trailer, Cheney said he looked underneath at the hull and was amazed to see minimal damage.
The boat was reportedly made with Kevlar in the hull, which is commonly used in bulletproof vests.