Ice Anglers Rescued From Upper Red Lake
11 ice anglers were rescued from Upper Red Lake on Tuesday after strong south winds caused the unsafe ice to separate from shore. Kelliher Fire and Rescue brought those 11 individuals to shore safely with reports of many others being rescued by local resorts.
The exact number rescued is unknown to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office after it was learned that rescue personnel were contacted directly to rescue people off the floating sheets of ice. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office or 911 Dispatch were not called. Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel says this circumvented the safe procedures put in place that keeps all first responders as safe as possible during these rescue operations.
Early cold weather has resulted in the lake beginning to ice over earlier than usual with a mixed report on the thickness of the ice.
This morning, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Red Lake area resorts and asked them to not allow fishermen out on the unsafe ice. Beitel says doing so risks the lives of their volunteer first responders.