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Vehicle falls through ice on St. Croix River near Bayport

Luckily, no one was hurt.

A weekend accident has authorities in Washington County asking residents to think twice about driving on frozen lakes and rivers.

According to a Facebook post from the local sheriff's office, a vehicle went through the ice on the St. Croix River on Saturday night:

It happened near the city of Bayport, the post says. Fortunately, all the occupants were able to escape the car "before it sank to the bottom."

"Please avoid driving your vehicle on the ice. Ice conditions have been poor and thicknesses vary greatly throughout the area."

So what are the owners of the sunken car looking at, in terms of recovery and cost? 

According to CarInsurance.com, pulling a vehicle from the bottom of a frozen lake or river is a big job with a pretty big price tag.

It often involves multiple crew members and a wide range of extraction equipment, a diver to attach a cable to the sunken vehicle, and thousands of dollars — up to $5,000 at least, depending on the size of the vehicle, the website says.

Luckily, comprehensive insurance coverage usually helps out with the bills, but "if the vehicle was completely submerged, it will most likely be totaled."

You can read more about the process by clicking right here. 

But as the DNR says every winter, ice is "never 100% safe"; if you must venture out onto that frozen lake or pond this season, keep in mind the guidelines for ice thickness. You can check them out in this DNR graphic below:

Ice Thickness DNR Guidelines Graphic

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