Snowmobilers illegally skipping their machines across open water usually is a winter or early spring problem in Minnesota.
But four Iron Range snowmobilers have been cited this month after doing just that. Three of the four machines sunk.
“This apparently is a new thing,’’ said Don Bozovsky, the DNR conservation officer in Hibbing. “I’ve never had that happen this time of year. Now I’ve had two cases in less than a week.’’
Three Hibbing men tried to skip their snowmobiles across a small Hibbing lake, but all three machines sunk. Bozovsky issued several citations for failed registration and other violations.
But the three also were arrested because they had outstanding warrants — for failing to pay $135 fines related to a water-skipping incidents last winter. They have similar fines for their latest adventure. They were able to pull the sunken machines from the water.
Skipping open water with a snowmobile is considered reckless driving, Bozovsky said. And he said sunken machines can pollute waters with gas and oil, and be navigation hazards for boaters.