Everyone makes mistakes, that’s a part of the human condition, however, not all mistakes are as costly as others.

Everyone makes mistakes, that’s a part of the human condition, however, not all mistakes are as costly as others.
Two local businessmen want area residents to know how costly it can be to venture out on Devils Lake when ice is not viable - like it is today.

Cliff Reeves and John Dahlen are the people you want to call if you are driving on Devils Lake in the wintertime and you get that certain “sinking feeling” - the ice is giving way and your vehicle is going down. You have no idea how far down it is going or what’s involved in rescuing your pickup truck, snowmobile or ATV.
But Dahlen and Reeves know and they also know that sometimes it isn’t worth the risk.
Reeves recently had been called out to try to get a new ATV, a Ranger, out of the lake. It only had 11 miles on it when it went down into 24 feet of water. Reeves said he nearly lost his own ATV in the attempt.
“Some risks just aren’t worth taking,” he said.

The cost of this kind of salvage operation can be upwards of $6,000 to $14,000, and that’s just the wrecker costs. It doesn’t take into consideration the cost involved in getting the vehicle operational again, if it can be. Often, according to Dahlen, vehicles are written off as “totaled” once they are submerged in lake water.
Kevin Vistad from State Farm Insurance in Devils Lake says that State Farm does cover vehicles for this if they have full coverage, both comprehensive and collision. He says that the payout is the value of the vehicle, if the vehicle is totaled out, which they often are once submerged, even partially.

Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson said that North Dakota Game and Fish requires vehicle owners to get the vehicle out of the lake, no matter how deep it is because of the contaminants like the oil and gas. The Journal was informed that no local Game and Fish warden was available to address the issue in time for this printing.
The ice on Devils Lake has been particularly bad this year, both Dahlen and Reeves agree. They recommend that all vehicles stay off the ice, now. That is what they intend to do, themselves.
“We have expensive equipment that we use to do this towing, we can’t risk losing it,” Reeves said.