For many Americans, fishing is a year-round activity and a way of life…and this includes those who live in some of the least hospitable climates in this great country of ours.
That’s right; even when the temperatures drop well below what many of us would consider suitably comfortable for outdoor activities, there are hardcore anglers out there drilling through thick sheets of ice and shacking up in one-room huts on skis, all for the chance to reel in some trophy fish.
And while ice fishing does come with its own inherent risks, 200 Minnesotans learned the hard way just how dangerous the hobby can become in a hurry.
About 200 people ice fishing on a frozen Minnesota lake had to be rescued Monday after the chunk of ice they were on broke off and drifted away, the Pioneer Press reports. Police received a 911 call around 11:30am from Upper Red Lake in northern Beltrami County. First responders found the anglers about 30 yards into open water.
The terrifying incident came with a high-tech solution.
Using a drone, they found a section of the ice close enough that a temporary bridge could be constructed for some of the fishermen to cross back to safety, the Wall Street Journal reports. Others were too far out on the ice to realize what had happened, and were contacted via a cellphone emergency alert. Airboats, water rescue boats, and ATVs eventually got everyone to safety.
Officials were quick to remind locals that early-season ice fishing can be especially dangerous, as temperature fluctuations can make for unstable conditions.
There were luckily no reports of injury in the incident.