SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) — Officials are asking people to be cautious on the ice after a snowmobile and ATV went through the ice on the Okoboji lakes.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the two vehicles fell through the ice on both the East and West Okoboji lake Thursday night.

On the West Okoboji Lake around 6:30 p.m. two anglers were leaving the lake on a UTV when it fell through the ice, DNR conservation officer Blake Mills told KCAU 9. Nearby anglers rescued the two who fell through. The two were then taken to a local hospital to be treated and have since been released. Authorities are still investigating the incident. A towing company is planning to recover the vehicle.

DNR Law Enforcement Bureau District Supervisor Greg Hanson said that the ice quality is as good as in the past. He asks that people use caution if they plan to use a vehicle on the Iowa Great Lakes.

“There are a number of areas to avoid, like the points, ice heaves, the bridges and locations where geese are keeping the water open. The pressure ridges are opening and are hard to see. If we get skim ice then covered with snow, that can create a dangerous situation,” he said. “Geese are keeping a large area open on Spirit Lake out from the pump house, so be really careful if going out on Big Spirit this weekend.”

Harson also stressed that there is always a risk when going onto any ice. He encourages people to check the ice thickness frequently and to bring other items for safety like a throwable floatation cushion, 50 feet of rope and a set of ice picks. 

“The new snow is going to make identifying these hazards more challenging, and it’s also going to insulate the ice from the cold temperatures and slow its growth. We all look forward to this time of year to enjoy these lakes but need to think twice and if it doesn’t look right or feel right, do not go out,” Hanson said.