Crowded, boozy Lake Minnetonka has emergency crews asking for changes


The rowdy Fourth of July weekend on Lake Minnetonka has emergency responders discussing possible solutions to the problems that came with.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District held a meeting Thursday – scheduled in response to the holiday festivities – to talk about public safety on the lake.

Law enforcement officials responded to 75 calls on Lake Minnetonka over the weekend, including 17 that involved alcohol-related medical calls (many of whom were so intoxicated they needed medical treatment), the Lakeshore Weekly News reports.

At the meeting, emergency crews told told officials space is a significant issue, according to reports.

According to KSTP, Lt. Kent Vnuk of the Hennepin County Water Patrol said the designated public safety lanes around popular party spot Big Island got clogged up over the weekend, and emergency workers "spend a lot of time kicking people out" of the way.

Those lanes, which are on the northwest side of Big Island known as “Cruiser’s Cove,” were established to give the patrol better access to the area for emergency purposes. Boaters can't anchor in the lanes, but can travel through them, according to a county Lake Minnetonka guide.

That are is so popular it has its own Twitter account. Drone Star did a flyover this past weekend if you want an idea of the congestion.


The waves from other boats on the lake made treatment difficult, North Memorial Ambulance Supervisor Scott Elwell told MPR, noting it's "not fun" trying to intubate a patient or place an IV while out there.

According to KARE 11, another issue was the lack of permanent, dedicated landing space for first responders. Dr. Pat Lilja, medical director for North Memorial Ambulance, said they need a place that's quick and safe to get to, that lets responders get patients off the lake and to a spot where ambulances can pick them up.

Dan Bassen, chair of the Lake MInnetonka Conservation District, told KSTP they'll discuss ways to address the traffic and safety concerns brought up by emergency crews.

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