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He’s known locally as the “ice expert.” For 40 years, Don Herman has worked on the ice and on area lakes and rivers, assisting nearly 1,000 retrievals of various items. Cars, trucks, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats are just some of the things Herman’s company ‘SUNK? Dive and Ice Service’ have recovered from local waters.
Herman really grew up on Lake Winnebago and learned the lake through his dad and the Otter Street Fishing Club. He started plowing the lake for ice fishermen at the age of 17. His business started in 1979 really by accident, with the retrieval of a Chevy Opal. Its front end had fallen through a crack in the ice.
“Nobody wanted to go get it, so I walked in with my jeans on, walked right in the water, laid down, and we hooked it up.” Herman and his buddy went to the store, got some equipment and pulled it out by hand. “The next day, another one went in in the same place. We had all the equipment so we charged like $300." A business was born.
Herman and his crew build most of their own equipment: booms, plows, and a customized wrecker. The team also uses large airbags to bring some items to the surface. They also dive into the water as part of the job.
Hear more of Herman’s unique stories in this episode of Get 2 the Point.