A Mason City man was uninjured when the 1999 Jeep Cherokee he was driving went through the ice and was submerged in approximately 10 feet of water, prompting Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officers to remind people about inconsistency of ice.
David Hand, 20, was driving on the ice to ice fish when the vehicle broke through after hitting an ice seam at approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30. A recovery firm from Spirit Lake removed the vehicle from the lake at the owners’ cost.
The incident was an example of why the DNR never recommends vehicles traveling across frozen bodies of water, said Randy Schnoebelen, DNR law enforcement supervisor.
“No matter how cold it gets, ice is never consistent across the entire surface. There are always going to be many imperfections in the ice regardless of the weather conditions and how cold it is. There are a number of factors that can affect the thickness of ice including wind, freezing and thawing, snow cover and pressure ridges,” said Schnoebelen.
Weather conditions can also make it difficult to spot places such as pressure ridges where the ice may be weaker, he added.