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Elk River, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Anoka County Sheriff's Office today issued an Ice Safety Advisory and information about a weekend rescue.

It took place Sunday afternoon shortly after 3:30 PM when the Sheriff's Office, St. Francis Police Department, and Nowthen Fire Department responded to report that "multiple people had fallen through the ice and were unable to get back to the shore." The reports came from a small lake located in a suburban area several miles northeast of Elk River.

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When they arrived at the scene, Anoka County deputies were told that two men and a dog had fallen through the ice while ice fishing. A news release about the incident indicates they had been in the cold water for an extended period before a passerby spotted them. That person then pushed the canoe out onto the ice for the men to climb into and wait for emergency responders to arrive.

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The first two deputies at the scene noticed the men were exhibiting signs of hypothermia and decided to mount a rescue operation before the Sheriff's Office Marine Unit arrived with equipment and additional resources. The news release says Deputy Chris Fjeld then took it upon himself to crawl across the dangerously thin ice to the canoe with a rope tied around him.

Deputy Fjeld, with the support of other emergency responders, was able to bring both men and the dog safely to shore. The two men were then transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment

Anoka County officials say the incident serves as a reminder that the ice covering some Minnesota waterways is not thick enough to walk on and that anyone venturing out onto it is putting themselves at significant risk of falling through and experiencing hypothermia or death. They recommend visiting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, which offers a helpful guide for determining how thick ice needs to be to safely support a person or a vehicle.

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