It's been three weeks since an SUV first crashed through the ice on Pike Lake in Hatley. Since then, the Chevy Suburban has been sitting submerged in 12 feet of water. Now time is ticking to get the SUV out, as the 30 day grace period is about to expire.
The owners of the SUV spent most of the day Thursday chipping away at 18 inches of ice, creating a trough for the cable that will eventually pull their Suburban out of the lake. The process to free the SUV actually started Wednesday when a diver dove down and attached a cable to it. The diver also inflated a balloon under the Suburban to make it easier to pull. Since then, the owner and his family have been hard at work using chainsaws to cut their way through the ice to shore. Once all the cable is threaded through the ice, it will be attached to a tow truck that will pull the SUV out of the lake. Although it's slow going, regulars on the lake say they're happy to see something's finally being done.
Ice fisherman John Anderson has been following this ordeal since the very beginning. In fact, he was on the lake when the SUV fell in more than three weeks ago.
"Here they are, how cold is it? Six degrees, with high winds and blowing snow, and they're out here doing it. So, ya know, good for them. At least they're trying. Ya know most people, the Game Warden told us, wouldn't even try this," Anderson told NewsChannel 7.
The owners decided to do as much of the work as they could themselves to save money. They originally had the project quoted by a professional. The total cost would have been more than $3,000. The owners told NewsChannel 7 that doing it themselves will cost them half of that.
The men spent five hours on the ice today and, because of the weather, made it only one third of the way to shore. That means the SUV probably won't be pulled from the lake until Friday or Saturday. But if the Suburban is not out by Saturday night, they'll be fined $1,000 per day.