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leech~~

Update: About 48 people Rescued on Red Lake

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UPPER RED LAKE, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Latest Update:

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office is reporting that about 48-50 people were fishing with portable ice houses on the east side of Upper Red Lake.

The wind and the poor conditions of the ice caused existing cracks to widen and and chunks of ice broke free.

Responding to the scene were Kelliher Fire with their rescue equipment, Blackduck Ambulance, Beltrami County Sheriff's Deputies, Minnesota DNR officers and the Bemidji Fire Department, along with resort owners

 

 

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office advises at this time no one should be on the ice due to the dangerous winds and fissures throughout the area.

We attached a satellite photo to this story which shows that the majority of the Upper Red Lake is open.

According to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office as of 12:33 PM there are no stranded people left on the lake.

Original Story:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that everyone is off of the ice and safe after a rescue Monday morning on Red Lake.

Lt. Phil Seefeldt with the DNR says his department, along with fire crews, rescued dozens of people stuck on a sheet of ice that broke away from the shore.

An airboat was being sent to the lake to assist in the rescue. No word on exactly how many people were being rescued.

Lt. Znajda with the DNR said, luckily, the wind shifted and the sheet of ice began drifting back toward the shore.

"It's my understanding that most are getting off the ice now," Lt. Znajda told Valley News Live a little after 11:00 a.m. Monday.

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I understand being antsy to get out and enjoy your favorite pastime, but how dumb are we to risk life and limb, as well as those of potential rescuers, never mind the cost, just to be in a hurry to put some panfish on ice?  I've never understood this.  Like sitting in a tree stand without a safety harness, or many other things we do and choosing not to be safe about it.  Think of your loved ones, maybe don't put them through this.

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Had 2 buddies up there Friday/Sat/Sun and they reported good ice for walking and good fishing, sorry to see people getting caught by weather.

 

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Drove by Sunday around noon and there were 300 or so out there - and it appeared more were headed that way with shelters in the back of trucks.  Wind was out of the NE, which would have pushed the ice out from the east shore.  Today's winds were out of the NW.  Go figure.  Glad to hear they were safely rescued.  

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With the "winter" we are having there's just no reason to head out. I don't know what it's been that far north as I haven't been checking the weather up there but I sure wouldn't feel safe on ice. Weather's been in the 50's. Even when it's in the 30's it's not making real good quality ice. As a first responder, I'll go out and rescue people whenever a call comes in. However, I have to ask people to please think before you go out. First, your life is NOT replaceable. Nothing, no fish, is worth risking your life for. Second, I'm sure all of you have family. Think of them. They will be missing a son, daughter, sister, brother, husband, wife, or worse, father or mother. Is it really worth that? Now when you go through and call goes out for help you are risking the lives of the first responders. Yes we train and we have gear to get out and help but that doesn't give us a 100% guarantee we are going to make it. We didn't ask to go on that ice, but we gladly do it because that's the life we chose. So we put our lives on the line because of something you chose to do. 

So was the possibility of a fish in the pan with risking your one life? What you mean to your family? The lives of those coming out to help you? 

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I'm curious. What is the determining factor for when the cost is imposed upon those being rescued or treated? 

  • If one's home catches fire, who pays for the cost of the emergency response?
  • How about a automobile accident? Who is responsible for the cost of the response teams (police, ambulance, towing, etc.)?
  • If I drop my truck through the ice, I believe the cost of retrieving will be mine, correct?
  • What if I fall through the ice? Who pays for the cost of the response teams (rescue, ambulance, etc.)?
  • When a tornado strikes, who pays the cost for the response teams?

I think you get my drift. Just curious about what the cut-off is. Any thoughts?

 

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I don't deal with the cost. However, I believe all but the cost of retrieving your vehicle through the ice is covered by emergency response. It's built into your taxes. We are paid by tax dollars. So when we are called it's tax dollars at work. 90% of fire departments in MN are volunteer (paid on call) and most don't make much. We don't do it for the money anyway. There are no cut offs for saving lives. That being said, when you go out and there is an illegal burn (burning something without pulling a permit) you run the risk of being fined. You can be charged per vehicle used and per firefighter on the scene. I'm sure there's other situations where this can play a role but I haven't seen them yet. For instance, if police or continually called out for something that isn't really anything they could possibly charge. I doubt that happens much though. Most agencies are happy to answer a call to help no matter what. 

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I've been doing a little digging and did find an article from USA Today about a rescue on Lake Erie. The article included the following statements. I don't know about Minnesota but other information I found seem to suggest that there are some changes being made in some states and it can vary from state to state. Some adopt rules that require determining if the "victims" took unnecessary risk or something to that effect but this raises some questions about judgement too. There are other concerns that when people fear the cost of rescue they would actually avoid rescue even when their life was in serious jeapardy. Supposedly this has been the case at times.

When the rescued fishermen made it to shore, authorities had them line up single-file to take down their names, Hasty said. "So if we got caught on the ice again, they would charge us a fine for being out there under those conditions," he explained.

Well, I don't want to hijack this thread any more than I already have. 

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Though I think its ridiculous to push the envelope on early ice, by the sounds of it from some guys who were actually caught yesterday, it is being a bit blown out of proportion.

They weren't "rescued". They were monitored as they walked safely across a crack. From what I have read, no one was actually airboated or anything like that to safety. They all left under their own power on foot.

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