ANOTHER RED LAKE RESCUE: Over 100 Rescued As Another Ice Floe Breaks Free

For the second time in a month, emergency personnel were called to Upper Red Lake to rescue multiple persons off a detached ice floe. According to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department, over 100 people were trapped on the floe.

According to the release, Beltrami County Dispatch received a call just for before 5pm that over 100 people were trapped on an ice floe that had broken off and there was at least 30 feet between the floe and the main ice sheet.

When first responders arrived on scene they immediately began identifying a location that would be best suited to safely evacuate those stranded on the ice. Emergency responders staged at a resort on the southeastern shore of Upper Red Lake. Due to the fact that some anglers may not have been aware they were on the ice floe, Beltrami County Emergency Management sent out an Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Wireless Emergency Alert with instructions on where to evacuate. 

Before emergency responders arrived on scene, bystander attempts via a canoe to evacuate were attempted. Four individuals fell into the open water during this attempt. They were brought back to the ice floe to warm in a fishing shelter. Emergency responders were able to evacuate the first four fishermen from the ice floe at 6:40pm. At 7:37pm it was determined that all stranded fishermen needing to be evacuated had been brought to the main shoreline.  A total of 122 individuals were evacuated from the ice floe. No injuries were reported and only the four that fell from the canoe ended up in the water.  

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Kelliher Fire and Rescue, Kelliher First Responders, Blackduck Ambulance, Bemidji Fire Department, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office, Beltrami County Emergency Management, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers and area resorts. Additional state resources were requested but cancelled because of the efficiency and speed of local emergency responders. 

Officials said there would be no further updates. This marks the fifth incident on Red Lake this winter. A previous similar incident stranded 35 anglers on an ice floe, followed by a small airplane with two passengers going through the ice the next day. That was followed by two incidents where anglers on ATV’s went through the ice. One jnvolved two anglers and the other, three.

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