Rescue crews respond to angler's call of thin ice off Park Point, no one injured


A lone ice-fishing shelter on Superior Bay drew the attention of a host of rescue personnel Tuesday morning after an angler called 911 to report he had scurried off ice that was breaking up off Park Point.
First responders from the Duluth Police and Fire departments, the Coast Guard and the St. Louis County Rescue Squad converged on the 3900 block of Minnesota Avenue after the 911 call, and spotted an ice-fishing shelter floating several hundred yards out into the bay.
Two rescuers with an inflatable raft hustled across standing water on the compromised ice and more rescuers on an airboat assembled at the site of the floating icehouse.
“Everybody’s accounted for; there’s no one out there,” Capt. Mark Herman, the city’s acting assistant fire chief, said at the scene. “It’s just a structure, but the ice is moving.”
An angler who witnesses said had pulled down a temporary shelter and escaped the ice nearer to Sky Harbor Airport was long gone by the time Herman delivered his report.
Neighbors and passersby had been watching the diminishing ice in the bay for days.
“There were a lot of people out here yesterday and I thought there shouldn’t be,” said Larry Leege, who watched the action unfold with his wife, Kandy.
Dave Osburn of Minnetonka, Minn., had stopped his vehicle to watch the rescue effort.
“I wouldn’t go out on that ice,” he said.
Tom Rauschenfels, another Park Point resident, said that up until last week there were several ice-fishing shelters on the bay. It wasn’t just the warmer weather that was breaking up and reducing the ice, he said.
“There’s so much current and so much vessel traffic,” Rauschenfels said. “It was a matter of time.”