Large excavators no match for swamp

Large excavators no match for swamp »Play Video

EVERETT, Wash. -- If you're keeping score, the Ebey Island swamp is up 2-0.

The thick mud swallowed it's second 22-ton excavator in just three months.

The two huge machines are slowly slipping deeper into the swamp.

"If you needed an example of what happens when you take a 44,000-pound excavator into that mud, you already had it," said Bruce King, who lives nearby. "We didn't need to repeat that experiment."

A third excavator sits nearby, nearly the same size as the two that are stuck. It almost went in, too.

"I jumped in it and got it out, luckily," said contractor Jeff Emery.

Emery has been hired to pull out the first excavator, which sank into the mud in May while building a driveway. He was in the cab of the second machine when it went under on Sunday.

"You can't beat mother nature," he said.

Experts say the area where the excavators sank is composed of about three feet of top soil and then hundreds of feet of mud.

"I think most people who own excavators are optimists," King said. "And optimism is what put those two in there."

Emery has brought in a 100-ton crane to pull the two stuck excavators from the sticky mess. Once that's done he doesn't plan to come back and try working here again with heavy equipment.

"I'll come and visit and have coffee," he said. "But if I'm on the freeway with my truck, that's as far as I'm going."