'Lakes are not safe anymore,' officials warn after another car breaks through ice


"It's damn embarrassing."

That's what Bill Weckman told the Duluth News Tribune after he was rescued from the roof of his mostly submerged car Tuesday afternoon.

He'd been fishing on Rice Lake reservoir when his car ended up resting on the bottom of the lake about 60 meters off shore, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad said on Facebook, adding: "The lakes are NOT safe anymore!"

The ice in front of Weckman's vehicle was only 1.5 inches thick, the rescue squad said. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says ice should be at least 8 inches thick to handle a car.

Officials are using Tuesday's incident as another example that ice is never 100 percent safe – especially in the spring. And with this week's record high temperatures, ice conditions will deteriorate quickly across the state, the DNR told HometownSource.

The DNR's ice-out website shows there are no lakes completely without ice. The median ice-out dates range from the end of March in southern Minnesota, to mid- or late-April in northern Minnesota.

Ice on part of Lake Minnetonka is currently about 22 inches thick, KARE 11 says. But ice conditions can vary throughout a lake, the DNR notes.

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