Seriously, keep off the ice – several people have fallen through this week

A lot of people have been falling through lately.
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At this point, above freezing temps have melted a lot of the ice on Minnesota lakes. If the ice isn't completely gone yet, officials are reminding people to keep off because it's not safe.

In just the past three days, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office says there have been at least five separate incidents of people and their equipment going through the ice.

Luckily, no one died in these incidents.

“Though they have been properly equipped and trained each one of these incidents has placed multiple first responders in very precarious, dangerous situations," Chief Deputy Ernie Beitel said in a statement. "Please stay off the ICE! Cold water kills.”

The sheriff's office also posted a video of a hovercraft – which was used by the Bemidji Fire Department for a rescue on Thursday. It's a pretty interesting looking thing.

Earlier this week, the Cass County Sheriff's Office issued a similar warning after three people fell through in two separate incidents Monday.

In response to Monday's incidents, The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office also responded, telling the Brainerd Dispatch, “No fish is worth the risk.”

Not to mention, a poor golden retriever that fell through this week in the Twin Cities area.

Officials warned allwinteraboutunsafe ice conditions due to the abnormally warm weather we had. Lisa Dugan, with the Minnesota DNR, told GoMN “this was a very short, very unreliable ice season,” noting ice formed let and went through a lot of freeze-thaw cycles, which produced milky, porous ice that needed to be double the recommended thickness for going out on the ice.

Dugan says in many cases, the ice cleared off lakes three weeks early. The DNR’s website shows many lakes in central and southern Minnesota are already free of ice – or are pretty close to it.

Four people died on lakes this winter. There were two watercraft fatalities and two ice-related drownings this winter, Dugan said. In the winter of 2015-16, no ice-related fatalities were reported, according to the Minnesota DNR.

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