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Beltrami County praises departments involved in ice rescue

On Friday, December 2, 2011, at 10:06 AM, the Beltrami County Sheriff's 911 Center received a 911 call from a subject who was stranded, along with his fishing partner, on a piece of ice that had broken free and was floating approximately 3/10 of a mile off the south shore of Upper Red Lake north of Carsella's Landing (Sandberg Rd NE- 47 miles north of Bemidji in Shotley Township). The pair had been fishing on 6 inches of ice however a southern wind had developed changing the ice structure.

Responding to the scene, or assisting with logistical support, were the Kelliher Fire Department, Kelliher First Responders, Red Lake Fire Department, Ponemah Fire Department, Bemidji Fire Department, Blackduck Ambulance, Blackduck Fire Department, U.S. Border Patrol, Department of Natural Resources conservation officer and Beltrami County Sheriff's deputies. Air support, which was deploying from Winnipeg, was cancelled due to success in rescue efforts.

Wind gusts up to 20 mph hampered efforts to deploy boats. In addition the wave action continued to erode the ice floe.

At 11:25 AM the Bemidji Fire hovercraft was able to reach the fishermen who were safely rescued and brought to shore. The fisherman were identified as Scott Wherley and Josh Arhart from rural Beltrami County. No one was injured in the rescue effort.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office wishes to recognize the efforts, on an especially cold and windy day, made by every responding agency to assist in any way possible. Thank you.

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