Press-Republican

Lifestyles

September 25, 2013

Local man reminisces about car sinking in '62

(Continued)

VALCOUR —

“There were other folks out there fishing who came to help us,” Bob said. “I got up out of the ice by myself, but my father couldn’t get out. Someone reached him with an ice chisel and helped pull him out.”

The two soaked men then headed toward shore, but another angler was also on the ice with a car and gave the Santors a ride to shore, ending their brush with death.

“I never knew who that man was,” Bob said of the angler who gave them a ride. “I met the man about 10 years ago. I didn’t know who he was, but he knew me. He said to me, ‘I’m the guy who gave you a ride home that day you broke through the ice.’ I still don’t know his name.”

Spring came quickly, and the Santors were unable to safely return to the site to try and raise the sunken car, which has since become a popular spot for scuba divers.

Roger Harwood, past president of the Clinton County Historical Association and an avid researcher of Valcour Island history, was diving off the southern tip of Valcour with a nephew several years ago when he came across the skeleton of the automobile as it sat on a ledge just above him. 

“It’s pretty murky there,” Harwood said of the underwater location, “but there are no weeds. The south wind coming through keeps the area pretty clean (of vegetation).”

Harwood had no idea about the history of the vehicle, but as he swam around the wreck, he noticed a radiator cap lying on the lake bottom and picked it up. He placed the cap on a windowsill at home, and it had remained there as a memento of the sunken mystery.

Until recently.

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