Skip to main content
Publish date:

26 anglers rescued after Lake Superior ice sheet floats away in Duluth

After multiple trips, all the anglers were safely rescued from the ice and brought to shore.

Nearly 30 anglers were rescued from Lake Superior after the ice they were fishing on broke away from shore and started floating east toward Wisconsin. 

The Duluth Fire Department shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday responded to a water emergency on the lake where a large group had been fishing in individual houses when the ice separated from the shore near 2100 E Water St., a news release says.

Fire crews made immediate contact and brought three anglers from the ice floe to shore. Then, using a rapid deployment craft (a boat with a motor), they continued rescuing anglers, bringing three more back to shore. 

But strong winds forced them to change their rescue plans and they instead used a motorized inflatable boat, making multiple trips to bring the remaining anglers back to shore in small groups. 

Related [Feb. 5, 2021]: 66 anglers rescued from ice floe off Wisconsin shore

While first responders were rescuing the anglers, another angler started walking toward Park Point from the Water Street area. The St. Louis County Rescue Squad responded with its airboat to rescue that person, the fire department says.

Within an hour of the call, first responders rescued all 26 anglers from the ice. No injuries were reported.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Duluth Police Department and Mayo Ambulance also responded to the scene to help the rescue squad and fire department. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says this rescue is a reminder that the ice is never 100% safe, especially on Lake Superior where conditions are always changing

Ice on the Great Lakes has been slow to form this year due to the milder start to winter. The Washington Post said in late January only 2.4% of the surface area of the Great Lakes was covered with ice – the lowest mid-January level on record. 

This continues a trend of dwindling ice cover on the lakes, with Lake Superior seeing the most rapid decline in maximum ice coverage per decade. 

Next Up

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.


Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

chad davis arradondo flickr

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo to retire next month

He's overseen the MPD since mid-2017, following the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, December 6

The latest from the state health department.


'Minneapolis, we're coming!!!': Foo Fighters announce rescheduled concert

The previously announced Huntington Bank Stadium was cancelled.

brave new workshop

Brave New Workshop gets new owners in Hennepin Theatre Trust

It is the longest-running satirical comedy theater in the nation.

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 8.05.11 AM

Minnesota firefighters mourn sudden death of colleague

Aaron Bidle of the Loretto Fire Department passed away suddenly Wednesday.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

Snowmobiler goes through the ice on lake near Duluth

Ice thickness varies greatly throughout Minnesota right now.

snow, measuring snow, snow totals

Here's how much snow fell during the weekend winter winter storm

The Highway 2 corridor in north-central Minnesota was the bullseye.

Minneapolis Fire Department

Roof collapses on 3 firefighters in south Minneapolis

The fire happened at a residence east of Lake Nokomis on Sunday.

Joleigha Johnson

42-year-old Minnesota woman missing since December 1

She drives a white 2009 Chevrolet Impala.


wisconsin angler rescue

66 anglers rescued from ice floe off Wisconsin shore

Ice boats, helicopters and rescue swimmers were used in the four-hour rescue mission on Lake Michigan.

duluth fire department rescue

Firefighters rescue teenager who got swept 350 feet out into Lake Superior

Four teens were swimming together off Park Point in Duluth when they began struggling.

Many people fishing on MN lake rescued from floating sheets of ice

At least 11 people were saved, but there are reports of many more.

Pixabay - water surface

Swimmer pulled 200 yards from shore by rip current in Lake Superior

The woman was swimming in Duluth Saturday afternoon when a rip current pulled her away from shore.

surfing rescue 1 (2)

Twin Cities man surfing in Duluth rescues man, dog from Lake Superior

He was about to end his day when a woman in a wheelchair asked for help.

It's still fall, and someone had to be rescued while ice fishing in MN

"Folks, it is not even close to safe to venture out on the ice."

Logs wood

Logging worker rescued after equipment breaks through ice, cab fills with water

Roy Davis was rescued by coworkers after falling through ice in Lake Hattie Township.