LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn. — Officials say about 50 people were rescued from ice in northern Minnesota on New Year’s Day.
The Lake of the Woods County Sheriff’s Office said dozens of people were stranded after a large pressure ridge broke about a mile off Long Point. Initial reports said 20 to 25 people were stranded just before 3 p.m. Officials said nearby resorts were using boats to take people across open water to the south side of the pressure ridge, where they were transported to shore by UTVs and snowmobiles.
The county sheriff’s office and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also used airboats and UTVs to rescue a total of about 50 people from the lake.
Several ice rescues were conducted this winter, including several on Upper Red Lake. Beltrami County officials last week restricted traffic until ice conditions improved.
The Minnesota DNR has issued multiple warnings of poor ice conditions across the state, saying that a recent combination of wind, rain and warm weather has reduced the ice thickness needed for ice fishing to “the highest in the state.” The government is telling the public that there are very few, if any, areas in which it exists.
Beltrami County Sheriff Jason Riggs warned in a news release last week: “Please use extreme caution if you are near the lake and check ice thickness frequently.”
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