St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- This year's winter season is already on track to be the deadliest year on the ice in more than five years in Minnesota.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, five people have already died after going through the ice in Minnesota with a sixth person who is missing and presumed drowned.
“There could be several reasons why so many people have died this year,” said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist. “It could be there are more people out on the ice because we have had a cooler winter and more snow.”
DNR officials say that all the fatalities this winter involved a snowmobile or vehicle either crashing into open water or breaking through the ice.
“The bottom line is it's crucial that people do not let their guard down and recognize ice is never 100 percent safe," reminds Owens as the winter starts to wind down.
The DNR recommends anyone heading out on the ice should measure the ice thickness and contact a local bait shop or resort about area ice conditions.
Fatalities by winter season (November through April):
2012-2013 6 (including one person missing)
Posted to the web by Krista Burns