Racine mechanic fixes internet-famous dive team’s trailer for free

RACINE, Minn. — When an internet-famous search and recovery dive team broke down outside of Rochester earlier this month, a Racine repair shop came to their rescue at no cost.

“We’re just glad to be able to help them,” said Dominic Bjerke, owner and operator of Dom’s Repair and Fabrication in Racine, Minnesota.

On Aug. 11, 2022, Oregon-based search and recovery dive team Adventures With Purpose was traveling to Rochester to search for Jodi Boeckermann, a Rochester woman who went missing on Oct. 15, 2021 , when their trailer broke down on US Highway 14. The team began livestreaming to their nearly 2.5 million YouTube followers asking for help.

“All of you, we really need your help right now. We got ourselves in a little bit of a pickle,” Adventures With Purpose’s Doug Bishop says at the top of the livestream. “We’re in Rochester, Minnesota. We’re driving down the road, wheel comes completely flying off our trailer. Thankfully, no one was injured, no other vehicles were damaged, and we were able to get ourselves off the highway and into a safe location.”

Bjerke said he was in northeast Rochester at the time.

“A friend of mine, Jon Whitney … had seen or got a notification of their livestream when it went public,” Bjerke said. “He messaged me and said, ‘Hey, you need to go help them,’ and he sent me a link to the livestream. I recognized right away where they were.”

He found the Adventures With Purpose crew pulled over in the Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon parking lot and assessed the damage.

“One axle, there was no fixing it,” Bjerke said. “I gave them the recommendation of, ‘Hey, we should — if you guys have the money — let’s upgrade things and make this better so this doesn’t happen again,’ knowing they traveled the country nonstop and they were overloaded.”

With help from his wife and Whitney, Bjerke installed two new axles that, combined, can hold 14,000 pounds, a “dramatic increase in strength,” Bjerke said, compared to the previous axles’ 6,500-pound capacity. Adventures With Purpose secured supplies while Bjerke and Whitney put in about 12 hours of labor to fix the trailer. They finished repairs on Aug. 13, just two days after the trailer broke down.

“I didn’t figure anyone else in the Rochester area would even take the time to move them to the front of their lists,” Bjerke said. “They’d have to wait, and a three-week break down would be difficult for them to do what they do.”

The recovery divers’ bill for labor should have been around $1,500, plus $300 for extra parts. But Bjerke didn’t charge them.

“I follow a lot of true crime podcasts and other shows on YouTube,” said Bjerke, who has his own YouTube channel, Bjerke Family Adventures. “I know that they operate off of what they earn on YouTube and off donations. So, that was my contribution to being able to help them continue doing what they’re doing.”

According to their website, Adventures With Purpose embarks on search and recovery dives across the country at no cost to families of missing persons. Since 2019, the team has helped solved 23 missing persons cases.

“They hung out with us. We went to the rodeo in Austin and spent some time with them,” Bjerke said. “They’re good people. That was the biggest part of me deciding that we were for sure going to donate our time and effort.”

With the trailer fixed, Bjerke said the Adventures With Purpose team spent Sunday, Aug. 14 looking for Jodi Boeckermann in Rochester. While the dive team will post a video about their search in a few weeks, Bjerke urged anyone with information about Boeckermann to reach out. The Rochester Police Department can be reached at 507-328-6800.

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