Huge crack and unstable ice on Mille Lacs triggers ice rescues

Unstable and shifting ice on Lake Mille Lacs prompted multiple ice rescues lately.

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NASA Terra Modis satellite shot of Lake Mille Lacs Sunday afternoon, Note the arcing crack with open water (dark) in the left side of the image near the west shore of Mille Lacs.

High resolution satellite images showed a huge wedge of open water roughly 6 miles long and 1/2 mile wide along the west side of Mille Lacs on Sunday. The gaping crack in the ice, along with other areas of shifting ice and open water have caused numerous ice rescues in the past few days, according to posts and photos on billboards from local resorts and ice fishermen on Mille Lacs.

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The ice rescue accounts are second hand, but rescue photos, satellite shots and local reports add credibility to the accounts. Here are some of the photos and accounts from ice rescues on Mille Lacs in recent days courtesy of and Minnesota Fishing Reports.

“This rescue was Sunday am near my home on Picard Point on the east side.

These pics were taken by my wife while I was at work……check it out.”

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Here’s another account from another rescue…

“Sheriff, and Fire Rescue workers are try to get to 6 people that are trapped on a floating island of ice. Two of the people are children.”


“This from the scene…

Guys are floating around on an ice island out on Mille Lacs!!! True story. Rescue team can’t rescue them! Hovercraft down!!!

Hovercraft busted twice. 4 wheelers would not start for Sheriffs. 2 hours now. Brandt’s 2 kids with there adult friends floating still. Sheriffs truck just about hit us going 90 mph with 2 snowmobiles on back and no lights on!!!!”

The bottom line on many Minnesota lakes is that the ice is still not safe in many areas!

You really need to know the ice thickness before you head out on ice this year. When in doubt, as local ice fishermen who have drilled holes that day. They’re usually a good source of info.

Here what the MN DNR says you need for “safe ice.”

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What are ice conditions at your favorite lake now?

Stay dry & stay safe!