Plane lands on lake, breaks through thin ice in northern Minnesota

A plane landed on Upper Red Lake north of Bemidji Tuesday morning, causing it to break through thin ice before its occupants were helped to shore by anglers.

According to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, around 9:20 a.m., a Cessna 172 Sky Hawk landed on the lake when it broke through the ice. Only 1–2 inches of ice was reported where the plane went through.

All of its occupants were able to escape the plane, becoming wet from the waist down, before being helped by those who saw the incident and provided dry clothing, according to authorities.

According to officials, the plane had departed from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, with a destination of Upper Red Lake for a day of ice fishing. The pilot identified what was believed to be a safe landing area after a flyover.

Only 1-2 inches of ice was reported where the plane reportedly went through. (Beltrami County Sheriff's Office)

However, as it landed, the absence of snow resulted in the plane having difficulty slowing down, eventually sliding into the area of thin ice when the nose of the plane broke through.

The Beltrami County Emergency Communications Center received the report, and a Beltrami County Boat and Water Deputy was near the scene and helped with the rescue. Arrangements have been made to remove the airplane, police say.

Earlier in the week, 35 people had to be rescued Sunday evening after ice broke away from the shore of Upper Red Lake. Beltrami County officials say strong winds caused the ice to shift, sparking the rescue efforts.