Man dies when vehicle breaks through ice on Lake Bemidji

26December 2021

One man died and a woman was taken to the hospital Christmas Eve after a vehicle broke through the ice on Lake Bemidji.

The report of the vehicle going through the ice came in around 5:30 p.m. Friday, Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel said in a news release.

First responders found the woman who escaped from the vehicle out of the water and she was taken to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. The man was recovered from the water by a firefighter outfitted in a cold water immersion suit.

Despite life-saving efforts, the man was pronounced dead at Sanford Medical Center Fargo.

Officials barricaded the area on the frozen lake where the incident occurred adjacent to Bemidji State University campus in 8 to 10 feet of water with 4 to 5 inches of ice.

“The ice in the area is unstable, much like many areas lakes,” Beitel wrote.

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