Bottom Time E-Mail News Archives
December 21, 2014

We are almost at the end of the year so it is a good time to reflect on 2014.  I ask this question of you, how many times did you get out diving this last year. How many times did you say you were going to make at least a couple of dives but didn’t. In our fast paced world it is hard to make time for all the activities we like to do.  It’s easy to say at the last minute lets go play a round of golf or go take in a move.  To do an outing of scuba diving it takes much more prep and so we generally do not take the time to plan for a diving excursion and another season goes by without getting in the water and our skills deteriorate even more. Remember for any students, which were trained through Tri-State Diving, can attend any of our scuba class to work on their skills and the only fee we charge is the pool fee that we pay the facility.  Let’s make it a New Year’s resolution to make it a point to get out and enjoy some of the best fresh water diving in the world and if you did make it out this summer make it a point to make a few more dives this coming year.

December has been busy for the salvage crew with three recoveries.   Our first recovery was on December 6 th when we traveled to Jewett Lake northeast of Elizabeth MN.  An ATV had dropped through an ice ridge and ended up in 26 foot of water.  Ryan Sandvig, Pat Johnston, and Seal were the crew on this job.  Here are some pictures of the recovery.

  Ryan in the water getting ready to hook it up to the bipod after it was floated                          Owner getting ready to hook up the ATV for towing back to shore         


       Preparing to hook up to trailer for trip back to shore



The next two recoveries happened because of the fog.  The operator of the car on Walker Lake and the operator of ATV on Little Pine Lake got lost in the fog and ended up going into the river channel in the lake.  On December 13 th the driver of a car was headed out to some friends that were ice fishing on Walker Lake.  The fog was so dense that when he was not very far out on the lake when he got disorientated and made a wrong turn and ended up in open water.  He was able to climb out the window and get on the roof before it settled on the bottom in shallow water.  He then called 911 and the sheriff’s department responded to get him to safe ice.   He called us the next morning.  We had the crew set up and were on site by 11:00 Am.  The fog was still very thick so we had to have people standing about every 75 feet apart so we did not end up in the river with our ATV and salvage trailer.  The rig was only about 200 yards out form the access.  When we hauled it back to shore in the dark we had to have someone with a light on shore so we had a heading to make it back to shore.  We had to cut a channel about 80 feet long to get to 11 inches of ice. Those on the job were Chris Lee, Dean Haman, Keith Heinlein and Seal.  Because of the body style of the vehicle and how it was setting in the muck we had difficulty finding a good place to hook up to the rig to pull it to the extractor.    Here are some pictures of the recovery.


Shows the car setting on the bottom of the lake                                                                               Channel cut and setting up extractor                                                         



                       Lining up the vehicle on the extractor                                                                                                 Rehooking vehicle



                  Preparing to pull vehicle off the extractor



That evening we stopped in Perham to have supper and we got a call to recover an ATV and fish house that fell into the Ottertail River where it enters Little Pine Lake.  They were taking the fish houses off the Lake because of the ice conditions were getting bad because of the warm conditions the last few days.  The had taken the first one off the ice and were removing the second one when they got turned around and the father and son ended up in the open water and spent some time trying to climb back up on the ice.  We arrived on site on the next morning to remove the ATV and fish house.  We decided that it would be best to park the pickup and salvage trailer in the ditch by shore and just use our ATV and bipod to remove his ATV and fish house. We unloaded our ATV to haul the equipment out to the site.  The ATV was setting on the bottom in open water and the fish house was floating still attached to the ATV.  Chris broke ice until it got thick enough so we could use the chain saw to cut ice.  We cut a channel about 60 feet to get to ice about 7” thick to support the bipod.  About the time we were ready to bring it out it started snowing.  We connected chain to the ATV and were able to pull it by hand to get it lined up in the cut channel.  We anchored our 4 wheeler and used the wrench and chain to pull it to the bipod.  We decided it would be best to leave the fish house attached to the ATV and bring them both out together.  Chris Lee, Pat Johnston, Keith Heinlein and Seal worked on the job. Pictures of the operation


          Chris in the water assessing the best way to take it out                                                                          Setting up bipod




       Pulling ATV fish house up the channel                                                               Pat shorting up and Rehooking the chain



           ATV Out                                                                                                                      Fish house almost out


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