Two vehicles go into Lake Minnetonka within hours of each other

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On Saturday, Feb. 11, Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies, Wayzata Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to Wayzata Bay at approximately 7:39 a.m. after a passerby reported seeing a vehicle in the water. No injuries were reported. (Photo courtesy of Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol is reporting an additional two vehicles have ended up in Lake Minnetonka, bringing the total to four vehicles this month.

A pickup truck broke through the ice on Friday, Feb. 10 on Gray’s Bay . The driver was heading out to his fish house early that evening when the vehicle broke through the ice. The driver reported having to injuries.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, Hennepin County Sheriff’s deputies, Wayzata Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to Wayzata Bay at approximately 7:39 a.m. after a passerby reported seeing a vehicle in the water.

Deputies from Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol entered the water to confirm that no one was still in the vehicle.

Once located, the vehicle’s owner also confirmed that all parties exited the car and were safe. The vehicle will be retrieved from the lake at the owner’s expense.

“Ice in Minnesota is never totally safe,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “The reason is you get changing, shifting conditions…You’ve got underwater streams, irrigation streams, all kinds of things that weaken ice, especially in the channels and along the shoreline.”
Two more vehicles have entered Lake Minnetonka this month.

A vehicle got stuck on a pressure ridge off of Brackets Point, between Smiths and Browns Bay in Orono. The vehicle was found by Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol deputies Feb. 2.

An ATV was pulled from the Narrows Channel Feb. 6 in Tonka Bay. The ATV went through the ice Feb. 4 when entering the Narrows Channel.

No injuries were reported in other incidents.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is reminding people that ice conditions are never 100 percent safe. Due to warm weather this weekend, ice conditions may deteriorate quickly.

A minimum of four inches of ice is recommended for walking and small group activities, and a minimum of eight inches is recommended to support a car or small pickup truck.

Other ice safety tips:
-Channel and shoreline areas are particularly dangerous. Never walk, snowmobile, or use an ATV on a channel. Check the ice thickness prior to attempting recreational activities.
-Do not venture onto the ice at night.
-Wear a life jacket.
-Keep your dog on a leash so that it doesn’t wander onto thin ice. You should not put your safety in jeopardy by following a dog onto thin ice.
-Carry safety gear such as ice picks and a rope to throw to someone who falls through the ice.

For more information about ice safety, the Minnesota DNR has tips online.

-Compiled by Paige Kieffer. Contact Paige Kieffer at paige.kieffer@ecm-inc.com.