Ice Fishing Tragedy in the Upper Thumb

One of our readers sent us some sad news.

Two fishermen and their ATV & shanty fell through the ice yesterday (2/4/2018) near Rose Island (between Bay Port & Sebewaing) in 4-5 feet of water. They were only about a half mile out. Visibility was bad yesterday with the snow blowing around. They couldn’t make it back to shore and died. They were found about 900 feet from where they fell through.

Ice Safety Guidelines

It may take a deadly incident like this to remind people that ice changes and to be mindful of what is underfoot. The Minnesota DNR provides the following guidelines.

For new, clear ice only

  • Under 4″ – STAY OFF
  • 4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
  • 5″ – 7″ – Snowmobile or ATV
  • 8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
  • 12″ – 15″ – Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe. Currents from nearby rivers or debris in the ice can create thin areas.

White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

ice_thickness_lrg

Download this Ice Thickness Guidelines from the Minnesota DNR.


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