PILLAGER, Minn. -- Emergency personnel are warning about the dangers of thin ice after a close call by an overeager ice skater near Pillager in northern Minnesota on Thursday.

Pillager Fire Chief Randy Lee said first responders received a call mid-morning on Thanksgiving Day that a man on ice skates had fallen through the ice on Lake Placid, a reservoir of the Crow Wing River west of Pillager. Before crews responded, however, the man was able to pull himself from the icy waters and continue on his way, Lee said.

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A few perhaps equally overeager ice anglers were spotted in a bay on the south side of Lake Placid on Thursday, a tipster said. Lee said the bay is one of the first water bodies to freeze over in the area and it's typical to see anglers there earlier in the year than other areas. Although the bay is just four feet deep and Lee estimated ice thickness at 3 to 4 inches, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports ice formed over flowing water is often particularly dangerous.

"Any ice is not really walkable yet," Lee said. "I would say be very careful going on any ice and check it as you are going."

Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said there is no ice that should ever be considered truly safe.

"This time of year, being on the ice is very dangerous," Burch said. "We don't consider any ice safe, especially this time of the year."

Recommended guidelines from the DNR -- for new, clear ice only -- are to avoid walking on ice until it's 4 inches thick. Five inches is recommended for snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles and 8 to 12 inches must be formed before cars or small pickup trucks should go on the ice. A medium-sized pickup truck should have 12 to 15 inches of ice beneath it.

Old ice, which often appears white, is half as strong as new, clear ice, the DNR reports, and recommended thicknesses should be doubled.