Authorities stress ice safety after multiple falls over weekend

It’s that time of year again: temperatures are cold, and bodies of water are starting to freeze over, but authorities are urging Minnesotans to be smart and safe before venturing out onto any ice just yet.

The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office says it responded to multiple calls reporting people had fallen through ice on lakes this past weekend.

Fortunately, all of the victims were able to make it back to shore safely, the sheriff’s office says, but authorities warn that falls through ice can quickly turn tragic.

With that in mind, officials are reminding Minnesotans that they should wait until there are at least four inches of ice before walking out onto a lake. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has more ice thickness safety guidelines here.

Additionally, the sheriff’s office urges everyone who goes onto a lake to always:

  • Wear a life jacket or floatation suit,
  • Carrying a cellphone or personal locator beacon,
  • Carry an ice pick or chisel, rope and tape measure, and check the ice thickness as regular intervals, as thickness levels can change quickly,
  • Don’t go out alone or without letting someone know about your plans and expected return time.