Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)



November 29, 2022

Waskish & Shotley Townships, Beltrami County, MN – At approximately 11:34am on Monday, November 28th, 2022 the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from individuals who were fishing on Upper Red Lake in northern Beltrami County. The callers indicated that a large chunk of ice broke free from the main shoreline stranding an estimated 100 individuals. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and other first responders arrived on scene and discovered a large portion of the ice with up to 30 yards of open water stranding the fishermen.

Several water rescue agencies and vehicles were dispatched to the scene. After assessing the extent of the open water with visual and drone operations, a narrow spot of the separation was found and a temporary bridge was deployed to evacuate the stranded fishermen. The location is the southeast corner of Upper Red Lake north of JR's Corner. First responders assisted the safe evacuation of dozens of individuals.

Due to the urgent nature of getting people off the ice and the likelihood that several groups were unaware of the separation, Beltrami County Emergency Management utilized a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System to notify of the evacuation. The WEA allowed notifications to be sent to cell phones of those who are not enrolled in the local notification system and provided GPS coordinates of the evacuation site.

At 2:37pm it was determined that everyone requiring evacuation from the ice had been reached and emergency responders cleared the scene. In total, an estimated 200 individuals were evacuated from the ice. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office reminds those who are thinking of heading on the ice that early season ice is very unpredictable. Extreme caution should be used when heading on the ice and to check the thickness frequently to ensure an adequate amount of ice.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was assisted by Kelliher Fire and Rescue, Red Lake Nation Fire, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota State Patrol, Blackduck Ambulance, Lake of the Woods Sheriff's Office and local resorts. A number of apparatus were deployed including airboats, water rescue boats, ATVs, drones and a temporary bridge.

-Chief Deputy Jarrett Walton

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office


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