Photos courtesy of Jeff Bosek
If you’ve ever watched the TV show Ice Road Truckers, then you know that driving a big rig over frozen lakes and rivers is risky business. But it’s not just heavy semis that can fall through thin ice. Each winter, in Minnesota, pickup trucks and smaller vehicles have to be salvaged from chilly waters.
Jeff Bosek, the owner of Divers Clubhouse in Alexandria, Minn. operates an underwater recovery service that specializes in cold-water vehicle rescues. This year, Bosek has already salvaged two pickups: a 2006 Ford F-150 and a 1988 Chevrolet C/K 2500 with a snow plow.
How does Bosek do it? Very carefully and very slowly, so as not to damage the vehicle already in the water or put other people and property in jeopardy. It also requires specialized equipment. Recovering the Ford and Chevy pickups took a 16,500-pound winch, a 9,000-pound winch, chainsaws, ice diving gear and lifting bags.
Recovery can also require underwater dives depending on the complexity of the sunken situation. The F-150 needed an initial fifteen-minute dive to assess the truck – which was still attached to a portable fishing house it was towing – plus several five-minute dives as the operation progressed. A day later, Bosek returned to help clean up the site up at the bottom of the lake. He dove to recover an auger and a pail of fish that had fallen out of the F-150.
That’s a lot of work but Bosek’s price to recover sunken vehicles is reasonable given the harsh conditions.
“A recovery can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500,” Bosek told PickupTrucks.com. “I have all the equipment but I also have to sleep at night. I just want to help people get their truck back.”
Bosek said that if a truck is taken out of a lake and dried out in less than seven days, there’s a chance it will still work and the electrical system won’t be damaged.
[Source: Alexandria Echo Press]