Caution on Sherburne County lakes

Sherburne County Sheriff's Department
In the past nine days, two recreational vehicles have broken through the ice on Big Elk Lake in Sherburne County. 
A snowmobile broke through thin ice and sank in shallow water on the north end of Big Elk Lake Dec. 7. The operator was able to stand on the seat of the submerged snowmobile until help arrived. Dec. 16, an ATV broke through the ice and sank in approximately eight feet of water. The operator was able to rescue himself from the water. In both cases, the operators were not wearing flotation devices, nor did they have a set of ice picks which enable a person to get a grip on the slippery ice surface making it much easier to get out of the water.
The area where the vehicles went through is near the channel between Briggs Lake and Big Elk Lake. Water is always flowing in this area. Flowing water results in highly variable ice thickness. Movement of schools of fish under the ice can also decrease ice thickness. As a result, ice conditions can change drastically in a short period of time. An area that was safe several days ago and capable of supporting a recreational vehicle may not be safe today.
If you plan on going out on the ice, inquire about the ice conditions from local bait stores, resorts, or other recreational users of the ice. Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to return. Carry a cell phone with you and at a minimum, you should carry a set of ice picks with you so you can perform a self-rescue in case you break through the ice. Consider wearing a personal flotation device or buoyant flotation clothing. Not only will this enable you to stay afloat, but it also provides insulation and helps protect against the onset of hypothermia. 
Remember, ice is never really “safe.” 
 

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THE BIG WOODEN CROSS which stood behind the monument known as La Pieta was broken in Our Lady of the lake Catholic Cemetery last weekend. (Submitted photos.)

THE BECKER-BIG LAKE SQUIRT B1 HOCKEY TEAM. Front row, (L-R): Erik Baker, Cooper Fredericks, Josh Lillemo, Jack Beckstrom, Kellen Hurt and Luke Boardson. Second row, (L-R): Dillon Lindenau, Nik Hughes, Ben Piehl, Eli Sheideman, Zack Dembinski, Jacob Polecec and Dylan Pishney. Coaches, (L-R): Eron Boardson, Head Coach Mark Fredericks and Jake Pishney. (Submitted photos).

Pictured above are food shelf volunteer Bob Segler, Big Lake Food Shelf Manager Amy Robertson, Dr. Scott Schulz, Tara Boone and Sara Peterson. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

THE SHERBURNE COUNTY CHAPTER OF THRIVENT FINANCIAL donated $1,200 worth of items to the Big Lake Community Food Shelf Tuesday. The donation included 50 hams and some personal care items. Pictured above from the left are Big Lake Food Shelf Manager Amy Robertson, Coborn’s Manager Mitch Utecht, Thrivent Financial Associate Curtis Snesrud, Coborn’s Assistant Manager John Howard, Thrivent Financials Associate Derek Birdsall and food shelf volunteer Bob Segler. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

TOMMY ECKSTROM had to think hard about what he wanted to say on the gift card for the present he had just purchased.