200 People Drift Away While Ice Fishing in Minnesota

All were rescued after chunk of ice broke off, drifted away in lake
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2022 1:52 AM CST
200 People Stranded in Minnesota Lake While Ice Fishing
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / SaskiaAcht)

About 200 people ice fishing on a frozen Minnesota lake had to be rescued Monday after the chunk of ice they were on broke off and drifted away, the Pioneer Press reports. Police received a 911 call around 11:30am from Upper Red Lake in northern Beltrami County. First responders found the anglers about 30 yards into open water. Using a drone, they found a section of the ice close enough that a temporary bridge could be constructed for some of the fishermen to cross back to safety, the Wall Street Journal reports. Others were too far out on the ice to realize what had happened, and were contacted via a cellphone emergency alert. Airboats, water rescue boats, and ATVs eventually got everyone to safety.

“Early season ice is very unpredictable,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “Extreme caution should be used when heading on the ice and to check the thickness frequently to ensure an adequate amount of ice.” As for what caused the incident, a meteorologist explains, "Highs and lows have been all over the place. We’ve had cold temperatures at night to put on some ice but then we were up in the 40s and 50s over the weekend. We probably had enough warmth to melt along the edge there and then just a little push of wind is about all it takes to start that ice to move.” (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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