2018 Fatilities


November 20, 2017:  Upper Red Lake MN about a mile north of Mort's Dock Resort

A woman (29) and man (28) broke through the ice about a mile off shore on Upper Red Lake near Mort's Dock.  No details were given about the ice thickness or the presence of pressure ridges, thin ice (new ice holes) or gas holes.    The breakthrough thickness of cold ice with 1000 lb all up weight is a little under 3".  Upper Red Lake is big (25 mi long) but shallow (18' max depth).  

November temperatures were generally below freezing but peak daily temps were above freezing abouit 1/3 of the time.  Snow fell on about half the time. 

Probably the couple would have survived if they had ice claws and flotation (a snowmobile float suit would be best).  

 December 11, 2017, Crosby MN, Serpent Lake

A solo snomobile rider broke through the ice about 35 yards from shore at about 5:30 AM. The ice was reported to be 5-6" thick with some open water.  His body was recovered the next day. 

There is a good chance that ice claws or flotation would have saved the day. 


December 16, 2017, Cohasset MN, Rice Lake

Two people riding on an ATV broke through the ice.  A 23 year old woman drowned.   The man with here was able get out and call Rescue.  They responded at 5:45 PM.  

Both of this and the next accident would not have been fatal with ice claws or throw ropes or flotation.


December 15, 2017, Bemidji MN, Grace Lake

Two people riding an ATV broke through the ice.  A 23 year old woman drowned. The man with her was able to get back on the ice and call 911 from a nearby residence. 


Nonfatal skating accident:  January 4, 2018, Mountain Lakes NJ, Mountain Lake. 

A solo female skater broke through thin ice on Mountain Lake in the middle of the afternoon.  She was able to get out on the ice on her own.  She called rescue and waited until they arrived shortly after. This was a smart choice on her part. Better to wait for help you know is on the way than risk falling in again. Getting out a second time is likely to be more difficult and less likely to be successful. Having a phone that did not fail after the dunking make making the 911 call possible. 

One of the pictures in the Daily Record article appears to show a large area of new ice with no snow.  Further back there was a thin snow cover.  High temperatures for 11 days running up to the accident never got above 26 degrees.   It was about 25 and overcast at the of the accident. It was very windy on the 4th, the peak gusts were 40 mph and they occured around the time of the accident. Based on the Daily Record pictures it does look like the ice ripped out but it could have. 

January 6, 2018, Monroe Couinty Oh, Lake Eire.  

A 40 year old man broke through thei ice on his ATV leaving a 12 foot diameter hole about 1000 ft from shore.  TIME PICTURE OF AREA, WEATHER 

January 16, 2018, Midland County MI, Sanford Lake

A solo, 58 year old man broke through about 300 ft from shore in his Untility Vehicle at 11:52 PM.  The break through was witnessed from shore as the lights submireged.  Sanford lake is as more of a river than a lake with thin ice and open water being common.

Closed cab vehicles often have very short float times and the the cab may interfere with making a quick enough exit.