Monday, February 12, 2007

Tragedy on ice

The mood was somber at Twin Lakes this weekend, where a recovery effort was under way. Search and rescue volunteer divers were looking for the body of a snowmobiler who had driven off the ice. The driver, whose body was found Saturday afternoon, hit open water while driving his machine Friday night. In the daylight, thin ice that bordered the edge of the open water near the power plant. But at night, those markers would be harder to see. But even with that tragedy unfolding at Twin Lakes, the ice was dotted with the trucks and cars of ice fishermen. The ice at Twin Lakes varied in thickness, and it made me wonder how much ice is safe ice? The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in the land of 1,000 lakes, has a Web site about ice safety that says that 4" of new clear ice is the minimum thickness for foot travel; 5" for snowmobiles and ATVs, and 8-12" for cars and small trucks.

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