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Water rescuers hit the ice

Emergency personnel hauled their SCUBA gear onto Cass Lake Saturday morning for a mass ice training exercise. Rescue crews from 29 agencies participated in the exercise (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)1 / 3
Space-age looking amphibious vehicles were test driven on Cass Lake Saturday as vendors sought to market their wares. This creature carried a $110,000 price tag and was able to drive on and into the lake. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)2 / 3
Nevis firefighter Ben Roehl, one of the trainers, conducts a briefing before heading up the Cold Water Rescue Technician course. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)3 / 3

As more Minnesotans test shaky ice conditions on state lakes, a mass rescue training effort took place Saturday on Cass Lake. The 11th Annual Multi-Agency Winter Ice Rescue Training Exercise featured 29 agencies and 98 personnel. The purpose is to train all arms of law enforcement on water and ice rescue missions. Their skills are increasingly being called into use as more ice rescues become necessary in an unpredictable winter.

At top right, Nevis firefighter Ben Roehl, one of the trainers, conducts a briefing before heading up the Cold Water Rescue Technician course. Above right, Nevis firefighter Ron Leyba churns through icy waters.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

(218) 732-3364
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