Warning! Thin ice! Truck goes into Lake Minnetonka’s Phelps Bay

A truck partially went into Phelps Bay Feb. 16 on Lake Minnetonka. (Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)
A truck partially went into Phelps Bay Feb. 16 on Lake Minnetonka. (Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

On Feb. 16, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol reported a truck went partially into Lake Minnetonka on Phelps Bay.

This is the fifth vehicle that has gone through thin ice on Lake Minnetonka this month.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is urging people to use caution if they plan to drive on any frozen bodies of water during the holiday weekend.

Due to unseasonably warm weather, ice conditions near lake access points, shorelines and channels is quickly deteriorating, and ice thickness can vary greatly throughout a single body of water. Several access points on Hennepin County lakes and rivers currently have areas of open water and should not be used.

“Thankfully we have not had any injuries due to people or vehicles going through the ice this year,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek. “I want to stress the importance of ice safety, driving on the ice right now could be a life-threatening risk.”

The Sheriff’s Water Patrol is checking ice thickness on area lakes and posting for areas of thin ice daily. If you see a thin ice signs, do not attempt to drive on the ice in that area.

No amount of ice is ever considered 100 percent safe. Four inches of ice is the recommended minimum thickness for walking and small group activities on ice, and a minimum of eight inches is recommended to support a car or small pickup truck.

The following safety precautions are recommended:
-Never walk, snowmobile, or use an ATV or other vehicle 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 [email protected]