Snowmobile, ATV Fall Thru Ice At Spirit Lake, Iowa

Thin Ice Warning Sign

Photo: Getty Images

(Spirit Lake, IA) -- Two people are okay, after a snowmobile and an A-T-V broke thru the ice in northwest Iowa. It happened Thursday night at West Okoboji Lake and East Okoboji Lake. Nearby anglers rescued the individuals who were treated and released from the hospital.

Greg Harson, district supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau, says the ice quality isn’t as good as it has been in the past and anglers or snowmobilers should use extreme caution. .

“There are a number of areas to avoid, like the points, ice heaves, the bridges and locations where geese are keeping the water open. The pressure ridges are opening and are hard to see. If we get skim ice then covered with snow, that can create a dangerous situation,” he said. “Geese are keeping a large area open on Spirit Lake out from the pump house, so be really careful if going out on Big Spirit this weekend.”

Harson says better quality ice is available away from the areas to avoid and encouraged everyone to check the ice thickness frequently and to bring a throwable floatation cushion, 50 feet of rope and a set of ice picks. 

“The new snow is going to make identifying these hazards more challenging, and it’s also going to insulate the ice from the cold temperatures and slow its growth. We all look forward to this time of year to enjoy these lakes, but need to think twice and if it doesn’t look right or feel right, do not go out,” he said.

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