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26 Lake Superior anglers rescued from drifting ice

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office got a call Tuesday morning about a sheet of ice that had broken away on the big lake.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. — A slew of rescue crews were called to the shores of Lake Superior Tuesday morning after a large sheet of ice broke away, sending 26 anglers drifting away from shore. 

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Duluth Fire Department, Duluth Police, U.S. Coast Guard, and Mayo Ambulance were all called to 2100 Water Street in Duluth around 11 a.m. First responders quickly learned that a sheet of ice the anglers were fishing on had broken off, and they were moving away from land. 

Jack Silgen was fishing on the big lake for only the second time, and said everything was good until they felt the ice cracking underneath the shanty they were in. 

"My friend Nick and I, who I was fishing with, heard some yelling outside and so we looked out and saw open water, so we packed up as quick as we could and took off running and seeing if maybe we could maybe get off, but there was too large of a gap."

First responders used boats to get everyone off the ice without injury. 

According to KARE news partner KBJR, Duluth Fire Department Chief Shawn Krizaj said that this was the biggest ice rescue the department has conducted in recent years. 

"Be cautious. Be careful. That's my best recommendation," Chief Krizaj said. "I hate to say, 'Don't ever go out on the ice,' but the problem is you just don't know, you can never know."

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office agrees, reminding everyone to be mindful of ice conditions, especially on Lake Superior.

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