GILFORD, N.H. (WHDH) - Not one, not two, but three cars were recovered from Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend after they fell through the ice.

Tim McDonald, of the New Hampshire-based recovery company Marine Solutions, helped winch the cars up from the bottom of the lake near Gilford. He says three in one weekend is unusual but not unheard of.

According to McDonald, the dramatic temperature swings are to blame for the mess.

“With the extreme cold we had for a while, we gained a lot of ice pack,” he explained. “But then we get these crazy warm spells and we gain soft spots.”

Two of the cars were fully submerged — sinking more than 30 feet below the surface.

Mcdonald says both had people inside as they fell through the ice but everyone got out OK. All were said to be experienced fishermen.

“You get into that situation, just let it go. I can’t tell you how many situations I’ve run into over the years doing salvage and recovery where it doesn’t end so well for whoever was operating the car or snowmobile for the simple fact that as it was sinking they were trying to figure out a way to stop it,” said McDonald.

Recovering a submerged car is a multi-day endeavor. First, drones are used to find the car next, a team of divers works with equipment on the surface to bring it up then, the car is carefully towed to shore where it usually heads straight to scrap.

Despite the dramatic sight, McDonald said he hopes this does not deter people from enjoying the winter activity.

“Be as safe as you can but don’t let it stop you from enjoying everything we love about New England.”

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