At least 1 missing after vehicle plunges through ice on Bemidji lake

12January 2021

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Rescue and recovery crews are searching for a missing person after a vehicle fell through the ice on Lake Irving here over the weekend.

According to a report from Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel, around 1 p.m. on Sunday, the sheriff’s office was advised of a vehicle possibly going through the ice on Lake Irving, a 660-acre lake located in the city of Bemidji. The lake is connected to Lake Bemidji by the Mississippi River.

Beltrami County Deputies and Bemidji Fire Department responded to the scene and located a set of tire tracks that led to a hole in the ice in an area known to have unstable ice. Deputies used an unmanned aircraft system and firefighters deployed a hovercraft and underwater camera to search the area, the release said.

Divers from the Lakes Area Dive Team arrived on scene and confirmed that a vehicle was located below the ice. Divers and personnel continued to search the area until darkness limited their visibility. As of Monday afternoon, a search for the occupant of the vehicle was still ongoing, Beitel said.

The vehicle’s owner has not been identified, nor is it clear if multiple occupants were in the vehicle when it fell through.

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