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Trucks, trailer fall through Lake Shetek ice

SLAYTON — Three parked pickup trucks, one attached to a trailer, fell through the ice on Lake Shetek Saturday night.

Pulver Towing Division Manager Josh Schafer received a dispatch call at 6:38 p.m. Saturday. When he arrived at the scene — along with the Murray County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota DNR — he assessed the situation.

"We knew it was going to be a lot of recovery," he said, "so we activated our response team."

Because no one was in the submerged vehicles, the response team opted to wait until daylight to fish the trucks out of the lake.

"We have very inconsistent ice," Schafer said, noting that just within the hole created by the downed vehicles, ice ranged from four inches to 10 inches in thickness.

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For safety, Schafer recommends following the DNR's guidelines about ice thickness. For a medium-sized truck like those recovered from Lake Shetek, the DNR says to ensure clear ice is 12 to 15 inches thick. Drivers are responsible for measuring ice thickness themselves.

Murray County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Heath Landsman agreed with Schafer's assessment.

"People need to know the ice conditions if they're going to go out on the lake," he said.

In his 16 years with the Murray County Sheriff's Office, Landsman said he has not seen many vehicles fall through ice. To continue that trend, it's important for folks to be judicious when driving on the lakes.

"Be smart and be safe," he concluded.

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