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A large chunk of ice breaks off in a Minnesota lake, rescuing approximately 100 fishermen
Rescuing approximately 100 fishermen: About 100 people were rescued after a large chunk of ice broke off a frozen lake in Minnesota, leaving them stranded. Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from fishermen on Upper Red Lake in northern Beltrami County shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Monday, according to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.
The callers reported that a large chunk of ice detached from the main shoreline, stranding approximately 100 people, according to authorities. According to the sheriff’s office, when first responders arrived, they estimated the fishermen had drifted up to 30 yards into open water due to the breakage.
Several water rescue agencies and vehicles were dispatched to the scene and used visual and drone operations to assess the extent of the open water. Authorities used a narrow section of the separation to construct a temporary bridge to help the stranded fishermen.
On Facebook, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office advised those who needed to evacuate to head toward the access point at JR’s Corner. A fisherman named Shane from North Woods Fish Houses in Beltrami County said in a video posted to Facebook that “a pretty big crack” opened up from east to west. “We have some people on the other side of the water line,” he said. “We are going to get to you.”
After having above-average temperatures in October and September, the upper Midwest has had a very warm fall. Temperatures were near 70 degrees in early November, which is a lot warmer than average.
Before Thanksgiving, there was a cold spell in northern Minnesota. Many lakes froze over because of this. Forecasts show that after the holiday, temperatures reached close to 50 degrees, which caused ice to thaw and melt. Monday’s strong southeast winds probably made the ice even easier to break. Much colder weather is on the way for the upper Midwest over the next few days and more ice will be forming.
Authorities told people who want to fish through the ice to be careful and watchful.
“The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind people who are thinking about going on the ice that early season ice is very unpredictable,” authorities said. “When going out on the ice, you should be very careful and check the thickness often to make sure there is enough ice.”
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