One man died and another is missing after an all-terrain vehicle plunged through the ice on Peipsi järv Sunday morning.
Kunter Pedosk, operations manager at the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) Southern Prefecture said changing weather conditions had significantly reduced the load carrying capacity of the lake's ice cover, making it dangerous to venture both on to it, and on to ice on other bodies of water, regardless of how safe it may otherwise seem.
Pedosk said: "The situation is aggravated by cracks in the ice and bad weather conditions, which make it difficult for those moving by motor vehicle to notice any hazards.
"This morning, we contacted all the people who had registered their departure onto the border water body, informed them of the changed conditions, and asked them to return to shore immediately," he went on, adding that: "In order to protect lives, we have banned access to the ice until ice monitoring by the PPA has confirmed that it is safe to go out on the water bodies again."
The PPA was notified at around 9 a.m. Sunday that an ATV carrying two people had been seen sinking into an ice fissure, near to Kauksi village, Ida-Viru County.
While the PPA responded in force, with a hydrocopter, two snowmobiles and a patro car joining a helicopter team all deployed, a 47-year-old man was retrieved from the water. All attempts to resuscitate him failed.
The ATV was also recovered from the water.
The search for the second man, aged 50, was set to continue Monday, while as noted, the ice on Peipsi järv and adjacent bodies of water have been declared off-limits to the public.
Editor: Andrew Whyte