Lake City, MN (KROC-AM News) - Normally, it’s a pretty safe bet the ice on Lake Pepin is thick enough for snowmobiling in the first week of January, but the recent mild weather has apparently made it a bad wager this winter.

According to a report published the Red Wing Eagle newspaper, the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department had to come to the rescue of a 61-year-old man who was thrown into the frigid water of the Mississippi River Friday afternoon when his snowmobile broke through the ice in an area just north of Lake City. The Sheriff’s Department indicated the incident occurred around 2 PM.

A statement from the Sheriff’s Department says witnesses reported the man’s head and shoulders were above the water and he was described as semi-conscious when deputies on an airboat reached him and pulled him out of the lake. Prior to the arrival of the airboat, a deputy attempted to walk out onto the ice, but he also fell through and was assisted in getting out of the water by a conservation officer from the Department of Natural Resources, which also participated in the rescue operation.

Goodhue County officials stated the man, who was not identified in the report, was suffering from hypothermia and was airlifted from the scene by Mayo One.

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