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VIDEO: Sheriff's office rescues man who fell through Lake Pepin ice

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The Lake City ambulance and the Mayo One helicopter met at the city park in Old Frontenac to transfer the victim. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 4
Rescuers load the victim into the helicopter for transport from Old Frontenac to Mayo Clinic in Rochester on Jan. 4, 2019. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers use an airboat to cross the ice near Old Frontenac after rescuing a snowmobiler who had fallen through the ice. Steve Gardiner / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 4

Goodhue County sheriff's department deputies pulled a man from Lake Pepin after he and his snowmobile went through the ice near Long Point, also called Sand Point, at approximately 2:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2019.

"The victim was half way between the beach and the navigation channel approximately 100 yards from the point," said Sgt. Scott Powers of the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office in a written statement. "Witnesses reported that his head and shoulders were still above water."

While waiting for the airboats to arrive, one deputy walked onto the ice in an attempt to reach the man but broke through. According to Powers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Conservation Officers assisted the deputy out of the water.

"The 61-year-old male victim was transported back to Methodist Beach by the County's Airboat and then transported by Lake City Ambulance to a landing zone in Frontenac and air lifted by Mayo 1," Powers said.

One deputy at the scene said the ice conditions were dangerous. "It's 39 degrees out there right now at 3 o'clock. At noon it was over 40. Not a good day to be on the ice. Tomorrow isn't going to be any different and hopefully people will get that message," he said.

The joint rescue operation included Goodhue County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota DNR, Lake City Fire Department, Lake City Ambulance, and Mayo 1.

Steve Gardiner

Steve Gardiner taught high school English and journalism for 38 years in Montana and Wyoming.  He started working at the Republican Eagle in May 2018.  He focuses on features and outdoor stories.  

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