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2 rescued after falling through the ice on Upper Red Lake

Jan. 12—UPPER RED LAKE — Two men have been rescued after the Polaris Ranger they were operating broke through the ice on Upper Red Lake Thursday evening.

According to a release from Beltrami County Sheriff Jason Riggs, at 5:09 p.m. on Jan. 11, Beltrami County dispatch received a 911 call from an angler indicating that two of the four members of their fishing party had broken through the ice on the southeastern part of Upper Red Lake.

Initial information indicated they were wearing buoyant ice suits that kept them afloat. Bystanders used a rope to get the men out of the water and back to shore.

Emergency personnel were immediately dispatched to the scene and staged at a staffed lodge on Joas Beach Road Northeast on the southeastern shore of Upper Red Lake.

First responders met the two anglers at the lodge where they were being warmed with blankets and heaters. Both men, age 67, were treated for hypothermia and cold weather exposure. The air temperature was near zero degrees.

One was treated by Emergency Medical Services at the scene and released and the other was transported to the Sanford Bemidji Emergency Room with a broken hand, hypothermia and cold weather exposure.

This incident comes just one day after

a vehicle restriction was lifted

on Upper Red Lake that

was put in place on Dec. 30

for the safety of anglers and rescue personnel after several ice rescue incidents.

"While ice conditions have improved with colder weather, ice remains inconsistent in some areas," Riggs said in the release. "Always check with local experts such as guides, resorts and bait shops before going on the ice. Check ice thickness frequently. It is recommended to remain in areas that have been checked."

The men accessed the lake from a location with no guide service. The area the Polaris Ranger fell through is approximately one mile out from Joas Beach Road Northeast and has been marked. The owner is making arrangements for the removal of the vehicle, the release said.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Kelliher Fire and Rescue, Kelliher First Responders, Blackduck Ambulance, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservations Officers and bystanders.