Around lunch hour today, a snowmobile fell through the ice of Portage Canal, probably the first one of this season. A perfectly good passage for snowmobiles passes under the road level of the Portage Lake Bridge. Even when the ice looks solid on the canal, fear it. Take the snowmobile bridge.
According to my friend who recovers them from the deep, the machine caught on the skis when the tail bust through. Friends helped with a truck and a rope and the rope snapped and the machine sank, messing up the skis. This master diver has recovered one hundred machines from the drink, mostly the canal, and he knows how to calculate current when finding the final resting place.
Today, he's going after snowmobile one hundred and one. We had lunch in downtown Hancock Thursday and as we drove over the bridge, he pointed at snowmobile tracks laid near the bridge, along the center of the waterway. "That's where the ice stays thinner. Speed helps. Slow down and gravity takes hold".
Recovery by diver costs the owner a cold thousand dollars. The Department of Natural Resources charges five hundred dollars a day in fines while the sled is submerged unless one hires a rescue diver right away. Stay off canal ice. Stay off canal ice. Stay off canal ice.