Two people rescued after falling through ice on Upper Red Lake Thursday

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office says that bystanders helped two men get out of the water on Upper Red Lake and over to shore after their Polaris Ranger UTV broke through the ice Thursday evening.

Officials say that a fisherman called 911 at 5:09 p.m. saying that two of the people in their group of four had broken through the ice on the southeastern part of the lake.

The two men, both aged 67, were wearing buoyant ice suits that helped them stay afloat in the water. Bystanders used a rope to get them out and first responders met the men at a staffed lodge on Joas Beach Road Northeast where they had blankets and heaters going to help warm them, a press release says.

Both were treated for hypothermia and cold weather exposure. One was treated at the scene and released while the other man, who also had a broken hand, went to the Sanford emergency room in Bemidji.

The air temperature was around zero degrees when the incident happened.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office reiterated that ice remains inconsistent on Upper Red Lake and on lakes across the state, and that people should always check with guides, resorts, bait shops, and the like before going out on lake ice.

Additionally, officials encourage people to check ice thickness frequently while on the lake.

Due to the unusually warm winter, Upper Red Lake saw a handful of rescues in December and the sheriff’s office issued an order prohibiting vehicles on the lake starting Dec. 30, 2023. That order was lifted just two days ago, on Jan 10.

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