Beltrami County Officials Warn Public Of Dangers Of Unsafe Ice On Area Lakes
Beltrami County officials are continuing to warn the public of the dangers of unsafe ice on area lakes. This comes after numerous anglers were stranded on Upper Red Lake after strong winds caused the ice to separate from shore.
Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel says ice is never 100 percent safe and that each lake is unique to itself and how it forms ice. Safety officials say if ice is cloudy, it may not be as strong as ice that is clear.
“One of the other things we have to look at is freezing and re-freezing. This weekend, we’re supposed to have warmer temperatures – it’s supposed to be closer to 40 degrees for us – that’s not good weather for making ice. So when you have things that have frozen and thawed and re-frozen again, that good quality of ice is not there,” said Sheriff Beitel.
Bemidji State University students Joe Titus and Dan Amundson were among the stranded. They say that a crack in the ice suddenly grew to be a 30-foot opening between them and the shoreline. Titus and Amundson say they heard on social media that the ice was between 7 and 8 inches thick.
“We all grew up in Minnesota. We’ve ice fished every single winter and I’d consider myself fairly experienced when it comes to frozen lakes. And I would’ve never guessed this would’ve happened,” Dan Amundson said.
Sheriff Beitel says there needs to be four inches of solid ice on the lake to be able to support your weight and at least 12 inches of ice to support a vehicle.