Here is a sobering statistic. In the last 30 years, more than 4,000 people have fatally drowned after falling through the ice on a frozen lake, river, or pond in the wintertime. According to experts climate change is the reason for this staggering statistic.

In a news release reported by lead author, Sapna Sharma said in a news release: "The climate is changing, and it’s affecting when you can be on the ice safely. Individuals need to take that into account, especially when more individuals will be out enjoying winter ice activities."

For those of us who live and work in the Northland once the winter months approach we all know people who are itching to get out on the frozen lakes, to fish, snowmobile, ice skate, and more. We also hear all the warnings, see the signs, and look at the brochures about safe ice thickness, but accidents still happen.

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This past Saturday 64-year-old Scott Alan Simdorn fell through the ice driving across Otter Tail lake. In all 2 snowmobiles and an ATV went in the water. By the time help arrived on the scene, everyone was accounted for except Simdorn. After first responders pulled Simdorn from the freezing cold water he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries.

In Minnesota, in the months of January and February, most people are used to seeing 15 inches or more of frozen ice but this year it has been much more hazardous. Deputy Sheriff Mathias Weinzierl spoke with Kare11 and said:

We’re getting a decent amount of ice, but on top of the ice, we’re getting upwards of 5 to 6 inches of slush. We’re seeing upwards of a foot in most places, but we are still finding patches where it is much different.

You can never be too safe, and whether you agree or not why some lakes or bodies of water are not freezing like in years past it is not worth risking your life for a few hours of entertainment.

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