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White Bear Lake Ice Anglers Take Big Risks On Sunny, 60-Degree Day

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) -- A snowmobiler in Barron County, Wisconsin, fell through the ice on Prairie Lake this weekend.

Two sheriff's deputies rescuing the rider went into the water as well. The deputies are both OK, while the snowmobiler is in a hospital in serious condition.

Ice fishers on four-wheelers enjoyed the beautiful day Sunday on White Bear Lake, in spite of warning signs saying "Thin Ice."

"It makes me a little really nervous," said Sheila Parato, club manager of the VFW Post on White Bear Lake.

Ice Fishing On White Bear Lake Thin Ice
(credit: CBS)

Some of them weren't far from open water. Aerators are running near the lakeshore to help break up the ice.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says ice is never fully guaranteed to be safe because the ice's strength depends on many factors, including its age, temperature, snow cover and thickness.

"You don't know how thick that ice is," Parato said. "My best bet is to stay off the lake. You can easily go inside our VFW and get some walleye fingers instead of falling in the lake trying to get them."

The Barron County Sheriff's Office says a special commendation will be given to the deputies who, without hesitation, risked their lives to save the snowmobiler.

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