N-ice Guys Recover Sunken Pickup Trucks From Frozen Waters

N-ice Guys Recover Pickup Trucks From Frozen Waters
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.

Recovered Ford F-150

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.

Partially Submerged 1988 Chevrolet 2500

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.

Partially Submerged 1988 Chevrolet 2500

[Source: Alexandria Echo Press]


Ahhhhhh a Ford truck never looked so good! LOL

Typical Ford and GM drivers.

(relax guys it was a joke)

Pull it out in 7 days and no engine or electrical damage? Right.. A "chance" he says, nothing more.

If I drove a Ford of GM, I would want to drive it to the ocean floor!! Again, just kidding. Good luck and be safe with the recoveries.

The DNR can fine you every day it's in the water.

The greatest part is that whenever they run a story on the local news about someone driving through the ice, they always include a local pointing out that 'everybody' knows about the spring or tributary on that part of the lake...know your limitations! War the process of natural selection!!!

If the driver cut the engine before the air intake gets submerged, yes there's a chance it will run later on.

If the engine was running and took in water through the air intake system, there's a good chance it's hydrolocked. Water doesn't compress, so when the piston comes up on the compression stroke, all the pressure from the other pistons has to go somewhere. Connecting rods get bent (or blown through the block), valves get destroyed, the crankshaft can get bent... Plus newer vehicles are loaded with almost as many sensors and computers as the Mars rovers; if water gets into some of the more sensitive ones (particularly the main computer) while power is running through them, they'll need to be replaced.

Typical GM truck owner,thinking they own a "GTO'.(check out the 1974 Ventura GTO door lettering).
G.ot T.oo O.verweight (for the ice) more like it.

Seems like every year up here there is a few who manage to fall victim. Every lake is different with pressure ridges, currents, and springs you really have to know the lake your on or stay on marked ice roads.

You guys at pickuptrucks.com should take a trip up the the lake of the woods in northern mn and do some ice fishing and feature the tracked vans that are use to carry the fisherman.

They are only pulling out the F-150 and Chevy because the Rams weren't worth saving.

GTO = Guy Trucking Outdoors

lol Dave is right!!

Mike Rowe went out with these guys on an episode of 'Dirty Jobs' in May of 2008

It's dangerous work. I knew a recovery diver who drown diving for a snowmobile. My brother-in-law is a police diver. In his line of work, he's usually diving for bodies. Kudos to those guys.

@ Lou: i understand youre situation my brother is the high risk rapid diver for the fire department where i live. he has to dive in extreme rapids on the river here and most of the time its for bodies.

Jeff said "They are only pulling out the F-150 and Chevy because the Rams weren't worth saving."

Drivers of Rams aren't stupid enough to do that in the first place!

@Patrtick, You better learn how to read english because nowhere in my post does it say that YFI.

Yeah thats right only ram owners are smart enough not to go on the ice lol whatever! Maybe the almighty hemi can not even go places where a chev or ford can go u think about that lol Those divers do a great job keep up the good work guys!!

Hé Jeff you are right but Rams worth saving too. Owners of Toyopet pick up never drive their truck on ice or on gravel road the truck is build for city driving that's how strong the rig is.

Anyway the frame rust so fast on Toyota sitting in water for too long will probably dissolve the frame.

I never said the Ram aint worth saving!!! Learn how to read!!! I own a freakin ram for christ sake!!! Also a f150 too. I didnt post that statement so dont associate me with a statement that I didnt make.

Jeff i went though the same thing too lol as what u are going though on this site amen dude

yota wouldn't make it on the ice.

Thats my uncle! :)

This is why you do not buy used,or if you do, dont complain if its a lemon !!!! You dont know what the previous owner did,no matter how clean or shiny the truck looked when you bought it..

Even if you are the only one who wants to save your troubled marriage you can do it alone once you know what you need to do. So, relax, take a deep breath and let's get started with some things you can do to get started on saving a troubled marriage.

Lol I've seen a truck go through Lake Superior once and it was a 2005 Dodge Ram.. They recovered it with a special hoist onto a frame on skis that can pull a truck out upright. The guys here are pros at recovering trucks fallen through ice and it is done within a few hours after sinking

After watching ice road truckers many times I always wondered what happened to the trucks once they sunk. It's good to see this part of the story finally being told.

After watching ice road truckers many times I always wondered what happened to the trucks once they sunk. It's good to see this part of the story finally being told.

The comments to this entry are closed.