After being trapped on a piece of ice that broke free on Upper Red Lake on Monday, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, an estimated 200 people were saved and brought to safety.
According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office, authorities were made aware of the stranded anglers for the first time at approximately 11:30 a.m. When the first responders arrived, they discovered that a significant piece of the ice had separated from the shore, leaving up to thirty yards of open water between the fishermen and the land.
One of the owners of the property JR’s Corner Access, Adam Studniski, stated that they were able to retrieve a bridge from their shore so that it could be used as an evacuation point.
A little after 2:30 in the afternoon, there were approximately 200 people who successfully made it out of the water.
Last week, Studniski reported to KARE 11 that a fracture had been found in the ice a few hundred yards out from the coast. As a result of the warmer weather over the past few days, the crack began to grow.
According to him, most individuals had already gotten off the ice before search and rescue teams arrived, and there was “little to no fear” as the crisis unfolded.
Studniski expressed gratitude to the local fire and rescue as well as the sheriff’s department for their prompt response. “I want to say thank you,” he said. “Everyone did very much go off on their own, but it’s cool to see that they’re eager to help if it’s needed,” the speaker said.
“Because the lake has not yet frozen over completely, the wind has shifted in the past twenty-four to twenty-five hours or so from blowing mostly in a westerly direction to blowing more in an easterly and south-easterly direction. It didn’t require too much, “Ben Dery, a meteorologist with KARE 11, provided some explanation.
As stated by Studniski, JR’s Corner Access will not be opened until there is a thickness of ice measuring at least five inches. On Monday, he reported that the thickness measured between 6 and 7 inches.
“Sometimes resorts get a poor name for trying to open up too quickly, which is not at all the case,” said Studniski. “This is not the situation at all.” The resorts are actively monitoring the ice conditions and doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their guests.
The sheriff’s office sent a reminder to ice anglers in the form of a post on Facebook “Ice conditions early in the season are notoriously unpredictable. When venturing out onto the ice, one should exercise extreme caution and check the thickness of the ice periodically in order to guarantee that there is sufficient ice.”
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Before stepping foot on fresh ice in Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources recommends that there be at least four feet of transparent ice that has recently formed.
“The ice can never be completely trusted. Even while we advise you to wait until there is at least 4 inches of ice, this does not necessarily guarantee that the ice is safe to walk on “said Nicole Biagi, MN DNR ice safety coordinator. “Need to take into consideration a number of other things that affect ice strength, particularly at this time… the wind, and changing temperatures, and the sunlight.”
According to Biagi, you should also examine the thickness of the ice for yourself and wear the appropriate safety gear.
Wear a life jacket or a buoyant jacket, and have ice picks with you, was the advice that was given by Biagi. If you were to fall through, having these on you could save your life.
Kelliher Fire and Rescue, the Red Lake Nation Fire Department, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota State Patrol, Blackduck Ambulance, the Lake of the Woods Sheriff’s Office, and local resorts all contributed to the rescue effort.
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