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Ice boat breaks through thin ice on Lake Minnetonka

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An ice boat broke through thin ice on Lake Minnetonka Thursday.

According to a Hennepin County Sheriff's Office news release, two ice boats were in the West Arm Bay at the time, shortly after 12:15 p.m.

One of them broke through the ice and went into the water – the man on board was in the frigid water for "a short time" until he was able to pull himself to safety. The other boater headed that way and picked him up.

A nearby resident called 911 to report the incident.

'Stay off the ice'

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is "urging" people to "stay off the ice" throughout Hennepin County right now.

Ice conditions are not safe for any activity – walking, fishing, skating, ice boating, snowmobiling, etc. etc., the sheriff's office says. This is especially worth noting during the holidays, when many kids are home and spend more time outside.

Pets can also break through – the sheriff's office says to keep dogs on a leash, and do not go on thin ice to get a pet that runs out there.

Authorities have frequently reminded Minnesotans to be careful with ice this winter, after an unusually warm November-December.

Just Wednesday, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office held a press conference about the dangers. Here's a snippet.

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And it's not just in the southern third of the state.

Just 10 days ago, about 50 people had to be rescued from Upper Red Lake after an ice chunk they were on broke free. Two other anglers were rescued in North Dakota days earlier. And a skater who had a lucky escape late last month.

Last year, five people died after breaking through the ice on Minnesota lakes.

The DNR suggests staying off the ice until 4 inches of “new, clear ice is present.”

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