As soon as a Honda fell through the ice, locals were preparing to use an age-old system to pull it out.
'The people managed to jump out of the car but the jeep went under the water. Thank God the people escaped'. Picture: Yury Danilov
Luckily, the fishermen in the jeep escaped as the car plunged through the thin ice.
Driving on iced-over lakes and rivers in Siberia is normal enough deep in winter, but risky if the ice has not fully formed, or as the thaw comes in spring.
Look down through the beautifully clear Baikal waters in summer, and you can see cars that have fallen through the ice.
On this occasion, the fishermen veered off what was a safe ice road. Their vehicle went down in the world's deepest lake, though at this point, off the Buryatian coast of Baikal, it was only two metres deep. As the pictures and video from photographer and tourist Yury Danilov show, only the roof was visible of the submerged car.
Eyewitness Viktor Makushev said: 'We saw a Honda car going under water some 50 metres away from the bank.
'Local fishermen had gone fishing and decided to take a short-cut leaving the known ice road and trying a new way.
'They saw cracked ice on the way but took a risk and it did not work, the ice cracked more. The people managed to jump out of the car but the jeep went under the water. Thank God the people escaped.'
'Genius ideas are always simple'. Picture: Yury Danilov
Soon a crowd of local gathered around the sunken car, ready to deploy a technique taught to them by their fathers and grandfathers.
'They brought wood panels, strong rope and a long metal pipe,' explained Viktor, who watched intently what happened next. 'When we watched them working, we thought they must practice such things every day.'
Local men drive the metal piping into a hole though the thick ice some 25 metres from the stricken vehicle.
Using thick wire, they attached a long log to it, and also attached one end of the thick rope to the the piping.
Then they made a wooden bracket or 'collar' from timber pieces which was affixed under the car along with a hook on the axel. When the hook was in place, locals wound pushed the log round and round the pipe, gradually dragging the car out. It took about half an hour to rescue the car.
'Genius ideas are always simple, we are Buryat people, we have brains,' said Boris Avdeev. 'Cars sink every winter at Baikal, we know how to rescue them.'
'The rescued car was dried out, the oil changed, and it is none the worse for its chilly dip in Lake Baikal'. Pictures: Yury Danilov
He said it is too late to register the invention known locally as the Buryat Collar.
'This is not fair, our grandfathers thought of it, this invention belongs to them,' he said.
Happily, the rescued car was dried out, the oil changed, and it is none the worse for its chilly dip in Lake Baikal.
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