The February warm up is thawing lake ice in some places, including the Bay of Green Bay, and is making for some treacherous conditions on the water.
On Sunday afternoon, a red GMC 2500 pickup truck went through near the shoreline in Suamico. The truck owner tells Local 5 that within five seconds his truck tires were firmly planted on the bottom of the bay.
Today, the red truck was fished out of the water, which happens to be the first accident of its kind in Brown County this year.
“You have sun beating down on the top of the ice deteriorating from the top with temperature, and you have the vegetation and the wave action under the ice deteriorating the ice from the bottom, and it’s eating the ice away in both directions which you can’t see,” said Darren Kuhn, the WI DNR Conservation Warden in the county.
So what happens if you fall through? That’s where Bayside Ice & Marine Recovery comes in. With their bumble-bee colored eight wheeler and pontoon lift, a water recovery for the red truck was possible.
“We shove my pontoon rig over the top of the hole, it will float if it falls in,” said Captain Tom Drzewiecki, the owner of the company. “Once everything is over the hole we go dive down depending on depth. We hook up to the four corners and lift it straight in the air.”
Once the car or truck is lifted high enough to clear the ice, it is towed to shore.
Yes, the truck is clean, but it’s a total loss.
Luckily nobody was injured or killed in the incident, and will serve as a good reminder for anyone venturing out on the ice.
“If you do take your vehicles out, seatbelts off, windows down, that way if your vehicle does go through, you’ll be that much more prepared to escape,” said Kuhn.
The Wisconsin DNR also wants to remind people that if your vehicle goes through the ice, you need to let authorities know right away.