Over 120 Fishermen Saved from Floating Ice in Northern Minnesota

An ice floe detached from a lake in northern Minnesota on Friday evening, prompting the rescue of more than 100 fishermen who were stranded as a result. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office reported that 122 fishermen found themselves stranded when the ice floe detached from Upper Red Lake.

ABC News reported that during the rescue attempt, four individuals fell into the water but were safely returned to the floating ice and taken to a fishing shelter to warm up. These four individuals were the first to be rescued. Furthermore, emergency responders became aware during the rescue that some fishermen may not have been aware they were on the ice floe. Therefore, the emergency management team sent out an alert with instructions on how to evacuate, the scope of which is still unclear.

Thursday, Colonel Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division, had previously warned citizens about the “unseasonably warm weather” that had led to a lack of typical ice thickness in various parts of the state. Beltrami County Sheriff Jason Riggs had also shared his concerns, stating that the ice would typically be thick enough at that time of year for vehicles and wheelhouses, but it was not the case this year.

In the end, no one from the rescue efforts had been seriously injured, according to police reports. However, commenters on social media noted that fishermen are rescued from unsafe ice around this time every year. This serves as a reminder of the risks associated with ice fishing during this season.

In a tweet, CBS News confirmed that rescue efforts were underway for the dozens of people stranded on the ice floe that broke off on the Minnesota lake. With the changing ice conditions due to unseasonably warm weather, authorities stress the importance of constantly checking the thickness of the ice, closely monitoring the weather, and having a plan in case of emergencies.

As we reflect on this dramatic rescue operation, we are reminded of the importance of safety precautions when engaging in ice fishing activities. The incident on Upper Red Lake serves as a cautionary tale for all those who plan on venturing onto frozen lakes and rivers. As the weather continues to be unpredictable, it is crucial to prioritize safety when participating in winter activities on frozen bodies of water.


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