GARRISON — Several people were trapped on Mille Lacs Lake over the weekend in separate incidents and all were brought back to shore safely, reported Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent C. Lindgren.
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team was called out at 10 a.m. Saturday with its Hovercraft to rescue six individuals on Lake Mille Lacs near Sloppy Joes. Lindgren said the individuals were fishing and the 7-inch ice they were on broke away, separating them from shore with a large crack in the ice. With changing wind conditions the ice moved back and the individuals were safely brought to shore with assistance of the Search and Rescue members around noon.
Lindgren said later Saturday afternoon, the sheriff’s office assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office on rescuing three adult males who were out fishing after the ice segment they were on broke away and became a 60-80 foot floating ice island. Lindgren said the Search and Rescue Team again used the Hovercraft to recover the men bringing them to shore in the area of Terry’s Boat Harbor on the west side of Lake Mille Lacs.
Then on Sunday, Search and Rescue assisted the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office received a call of three men out from the area of Lakeside Resort who had been out fishing when a 50-100 foot crack separated them from shore. The Hovercraft again was able to bring the men to shore safely.
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff would like to remind the public that while there is ice on Lake Mille Lacs its depth varies in areas and there are still open spots and ice chunks that can separate with the blowing wind creating an emergency situation. Lindgren advised people to always let someone know where they’re going out from and check with area resorts regarding the ice conditions. Lindgren also suggests that people have a cellphone or smartphone and make sure it is charged in case you need to call for help.