Jill Colton, staff writer
February 2, 2011 — Larry Bartlett has the unique, and often difficult, job of recovering submerged vehicles from frozen lakes.
It's not everyday that you see a vehicle submerged under water. However, for Larry Bartlett it's all in a days work. His towing business is one of just a handful of companies across Ontario that are licensed to extract vehicles from frozen lakes and rivers.
“We can go anywhere depending on the job if we've got enough ice depending on what the vehicle went through. Sometimes we can pull it out in two days otherwise it can take up to three weeks to build the ice...”
Bartlett's line of work can be challenging and dangerous at times. “We won't do the lift until we know it's safe to lift the vehicle and pull it back to shore. The challenges vary on every job, it's all about the currents, weather, location, logistics...”
Of course weather plays a big role in rescuing swamped vehicles. “We had to spend about a week building up ice using gas-powered water pumps and once we got to 18 inches of ice we felt safe that we'd be able to lift it. But with the current, we couldn't build the ice right over the hole where it went.” Bartlett says knowing the conditions of the ice is crucial to getting the job done.