The Minneapolis Fire Department rescued a woman trapped on ice on the Mississippi River on Saturday, a reminder that regardless of its appearance, venturing onto ice is always dangerous — especially on a river.
Fire crews, responding to a call from a bystander, arrived at the riverbank near West River Parkway and E. 26th Street about 12:30 p.m. and found the woman stuck on a shelf of ice, according to a Fire Department statement.
She had fallen through the ice after going out after her dog, the department said. Both the woman and the dog fell through the ice into the water. The woman pulled herself up onto the ice shelf.
Rescue crews approached the victim wearing protective suits and brought her back to shore on a rubber raft. From there, they raised her up the embankment in a rescue basket. Paramedics took her to an area hospital for evaluation.
The victim's dog was able to get back to shore on its own and is reportedly doing well.
Winter ice on bodies of water can never be considered entirely safe, said Jeremy Zoss, director of communications for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. Ice on a river is especially treacherous because river currents can weaken it.
"This is a very potentially dangerous year for ice" because of unusually warm weather this January, Zoss said.
Even on bigger bodies of water such as Lake Minnetonka, where fishing and other activities are common in winter, ice sturdiness is inconsistent this year, ranging from "areas where it's completely drivable to certain areas where it's just three to four inches," not thick enough to walk on, he said.
Zoss advised those planning activities on the ice to check conditions beforehand, perhaps by contacting a local bait shop or marina.
Katy Read • 612-673-4583