Ice out!

And that’s a wrap on winter.

The Hennepin County sheriff’s office declared “ice out” on Lake Minnetonka on Monday, 10 days later than last year, closing out another season of vehicles falling through the ice.

“Up north,” people still think the ice is safe enough. It’s not.

Two people fell through the ice in separate incidents within 45 minutes of each other yesterday, the Brainerd Dispatch says. The first was on Big Portage Lake in rural Backus and the second on Gladstone Lake in Nisswa.

If it wasn’t for Spencer Bobst and his pal, one of them would likely be dead.
They saw the fisherman go through the ice in Nisswa.

Bobst said the ice was dangerous, but he did not hesitate to help the angler. He followed the “white lines,” as that was where the thickest ice was located. Bobst walked about 500 feet from shore to the angler.

“I was able to get him on top of the ice and onto the ladder,” Bobst said. “He was cold. … It was dangerous out there. It wasn’t going well. It was going south quickly because of the ice conditions.”

As Bobst was on the ice with the angler, the Nisswa Fire Department arrived with their equipment. Nisswa Fire Chief Shawn Bailey said about a dozen firefighters/first responders working together quickly and were able to safely rescue the angler and Bobst. Bailey said the angler, who is a 65-year-old man, was transported by North Memorial Ambulance to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd for non-life-threatening injuries.

The Crow Wing sheriff’s office has been telling people to stay off the ice.

“Today’s ice rescues are a perfect example on why people need to stay off the ice,” Goddard said. “The first responders (on the Gladstone Lake ice rescue) had troubles getting to the angler. This could have easily turned into a tragic ending. People who do go on the ice need to think about the risk they are putting themselves in, the risk they are putting the first responders in and the risk they are putting the neighbors in, who volunteer to help anglers who fall through the ice. … No fish is worth this risk.”

In the second rescue, a man on an ATV went through the ice on Big Portage. A second person tried to help; he went in the water too.