Updated:
Original:

Police hear snowmobiler's yells for help, but rescuers can't get there in time

A police officer first heard the man calling out from the northern Minnesota lake.

It was a Crosby police officer who first heard it: A man, calling out for help from somewhere on Serpent Lake early Monday morning.

Local first responders converged, including the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office and dive team, Crosby police and fire, and firefighters from Deerwood.

But despite what Crosby PD described as a "gallant" effort, they couldn't get to him in time.

Anthony Bjerkness, 34 years old, was found in the lake's waters, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office said. The Ironton man had driven his snowmobile onto Serpent Lake from a nearby road, and got about halfway across.

Then the ice broke.

When first responders arrived, all they found was a snowmobile helmet, along with fresh tracks, InForum reported

Bjerkness' body was recovered in about 45 feet of water, the sheriff's office said. 

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," the office added.

The emergency prompted just the latest warning about thin ice.

Despite the very recent colder weather, many waters still aren't frozen enough to go out on. The DNR says ice should be at least 4 inches thick to walk on, or 5-7 inches to drive a snowmobile on.

One commenter on the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office Facebook page noted Serpent Lake still has spots of open water.

And even if ice is far thicker than the guidelines posted above, Sheriff Todd Dahl (and the DNR) emphasized that it's never guaranteed to be 100 percent safe.

"Please do not venture out on lakes that you are unfamiliar with and be sure to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return," Dahl said.

Next Up

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.

MAHMOUD MOHAMED HAMADA

Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

CDC biohazard scientist health work

New clue may explain how rare tropical disease sickened Minnesotan

The disease, known as melioidosis, killed 2 people earlier this year.

Sen Mark Koran crop

MN lawmaker encourages donations for locals charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

"They are a good family!" Sen. Mark Koran wrote Friday.

money

Money Gal Coaching: Mastering the spiritual parts of money

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

University of minnesota sign

U of M will now require proof that employees have been vaccinated for COVID

Previously, only students were required to be vaccinated.

Jim Hagedorn

Report reveals details about ethics investigation into Rep. Hagedorn

The congressman described the report's findings as "unfounded conclusions."

Related

snowmobile, snowmobiling

5 Minnesotans rescued during snowmobile trip in Montana

One of the riders went through ice on a lake.

Teen dies after crashing while riding snowmobile for first time

The 18-year-old had just left a restaurant with his family.

Snowmobiler arrested after crash leaves man in critical condition

The 20-year-old snowmobiler hit a 23-year-old man on a lake near Faribault.

Helicopter crash kills rescuer trying to help Minnesota snowmobiler, who also dies

A Minnesota man and a rescue worker have died in a remote area of Wyoming, the Associated Press reports. The snowmobiler's party had called for help for unknown reasons, but the rescue party's helicopter crashed as it left to get more aid. Two others were hurt in the crash.

Homicide ruled in death of man found on snowmobile trail

A 33-year-old man was found dead on a trail on Jan. 6.

Minnesota man dies snowmobiling in Montana

The man was found face down in a creek.

Searchers find body of 2nd snowmobiler missing in northern MN

The 60-year-old man and his partner both died after going through the ice.