Authorities are again warning the public to stay off thin ice on Lake Minnetonka after a third vehicle, a snowmobile, went through the ice over about 24 hours.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a snowmobile that broke through ice on Libbs Lake Channel at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The driver escaped without injury.

It comes after two teenage boys on Grays Bay broke through the ice about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when their vehicle’s front axle went into the water. Less than two hours later, two men escaped their sinking vehicle after it broke through ice in Phelps Bay.

No one was injured in either case, but the Sheriff’s Office said all drivers drove around thin-ice warnings before breaking through the ice.

The Sheriff’s Office said the recent cold weather is giving people the appearance that ice is safe on channels, but it’s not. The Sheriff’s Office recommends people wear a life jacket and carry safety gear in case of an emergency and don’t drive on channels, which can have weaker ice due to water constantly running from one bay to the next.

If vehicles break through the ice, owners must arrange to have the vehicle towed out of the lake, which can cost several thousand dollars.

STAFF REPORT