Patience, gear, experience rank high with professional ice divers – By James M. Odato
The wind whipped across Saratoga Lake, snuffing out John Sullivan’s cigarette. A quarter-mile from shore, he hovered over a hole in the 10-inch-thick ice. Determination lined his face as he searched for the quad that had eluded his crew of divers for 90 minutes. It should have become the second four-wheeler they’d salvaged that late February day.
“Ninety percent is locating it,” Sullivan said. He pointed to a spot on the ice 30 paces away and barked directions to four men with ropes, chainsaws and augers.
Sullivan, 55, whose day job is bulldozer operator, has been diving for three decades. He is one of a small league of divers who drop into lakes in and around the Adirondacks in all seasons. They pull up things as small as muddy diamond rings and as large as 65-foot-long tugboats.
It’s risky, and lucrative.