UNITED STATES NEWS

More than 100 anglers rescued from an ice chunk that broke free on a Minnesota river

Dec 29, 2023, 8:35 PM

RED LAKE, Minnesota (AP) — More than 100 people stranded while fishing on an ice chunk that broke free on a Minnesota river were rescued Friday, authorities said.

The anglers were on an ice floe in the southeastern area of Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County — about 200 miles (322 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis — when it broke loose from the shoreline. An emergency call shortly before 5 p.m. said the people were stranded with more than 30 feet (9 meters) separating them from shore, according to a statement by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.

Nobody had fallen through the ice. But before first responders arrived, bystanders tried to take some of the people off by canoe and four fell into the water, the sheriff’s office said.

They were brought back to the ice floe to warm in a fishing shelter, the sheriff’s office said.

It took about 2 1/2 hours to finally evacuate 122 people from the ice floe, and no injuries were reported, according to the sheriff’s office.

State officials have been warning people to be wary of ice that is unusually thin for this time of the winter.

The stranding took place a day after a passenger died when a commercial transport vehicle crashed through the ice on Lake of the Woods, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Tracked vehicles, locally dubbed “bombers,” are used to take customers to and from ice fishing locations away from shore.

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More than 100 anglers rescued from an ice chunk that broke free on a Minnesota river