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3 anglers rescued when ATV falls through thin ice

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Three people who were ice fishing Sunday morning had to be rescued when their ATV broke through the ice, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

The incident happened around 7:16 a.m. when three adults – all believed to be men – riding on an eight-wheeled ATV broke through the ice on Bald Eagle Lake, John Eastham of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office told BringMeTheNews.

Luckily for them, the ATV stayed floating so they didn't fall into the icy water. But, they weren't able to get to shore, so water patrol units responded and used an airboat to rescue the anglers.

Officials then broke up the ice so the vehicle could be brought to shore, Eastham says.

No one was injured, but the incident has officials again warning that ice conditions are varied so people should use caution when going out on area lakes.

Eastham says Bald Eagle Lake has areas of thick ice, but ice is never completely safe – the anglers found themselves on ice that was only about an inch thick when they broke through.

This is the latest ice warning from officials around the state in recent weeks. An abnormally warm December has made ice on many area lakes unsafe.

Debbie Badini with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources told BringMeTheNews that ice conditions continue to be inconsistent, noting ice anglers should be prepared by wearing a life jacket or flotation coat on the ice and to check ice thickness frequently.

The DNR suggests ice be at least 4 inches thick for ice fishing, and thicker for vehicles or other activities, but says no ice is 100 percent safe.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, no ice-related fatalities had been reported this winter, Badini notes. The DNR doesn't keep statistics for how many people have been rescued so far this year.

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