• Crews remove Jeep that fell through ice on Lake Winnipesaukee

    By: Sarah Wroblewski


    A driver was able to escape after his Jeep fell through thin ice in New Hampshire.

    A Jeep Liberty fell through the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee last weekend.

    I would have to say snowmobiles are probably one of the most common things we recover, but unfortunately, anything that doesn't float, is susceptible to meeting me at the bottom of the lake," said Tim McDonald. 

    McDonald was called to remove the submerged Jeep, which had fallen 30-feet below the surface through a ridge or pressure reef in the ice. Those typically form after a cold spell ends and the ice warms and expands, creating weak spots.

    "I will say no matter how many times you dive on something underwater, you know that's not supposed to be there is a certain level of eerie when you get down on top of it," said McDonald. 

    McDonald wears a GoPro every time he makes a recovery, but this time, it was a bit more dangerous with ice 16" thick on the surface. 

    "So you're working under essentially a slate of concrete... so you have very limited access to the surface, you have to be very mindful of everything that goes on," said McDonald. 

    It took McDonald and his team about half a day to get the Jeep up safety and there is a reason why they didn't wait for warmer weather. 

    "We try to keep the time window as close as possible to when something actually goes into the lake to the time we can safely recover it, to limit the contamination to the water. Oils, gasoline anything like that. Modern vehicles are pretty good at retaining all of that, but we still don't like to run the risk," said McDonald.

    The Jeep owner was not injured and even though it's his job, McDonald still considers a great day one where he doesn't get a call.

    "A great day is the day I don't have to go out and help everybody that means everyone made it off the ice safely. At the end of the day, the Jeeps replaceable, humans aren't," said McDonald. 

    Next Up: