18 rescued from breakaway ice sheet on Lake Erie

No one was injured, says US Coast Guard

Namita Singh
Monday 07 February 2022 10:55
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<p>A view of Lake Erie in the image taken by US Coast Guard helicopter crew</p>

A view of Lake Erie in the image taken by US Coast Guard helicopter crew

The USCoast Guard rescued 18 people on Sunday afternoon after they were separated from land near Catawba Island as a sheet of floating ice broke away trapping them in Lake Erie in northwest Ohio.

According to the US Coast guard, the ice floe broke just after 12pm, when individuals were snowmobiling and riding ATVs.

“Rescue efforts began about 1pm after an MH 65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detriot noticed approximately 20 people on an ice floe, with several ATVs looking for a route back to land,” the Coast Guard said.

The rescue operation also received assistance from a “good samaritan”, the release added.

"The helicopter lowered its rescue swimmer and began hoisting operations while Station Marblehead’s airboat got underway," it said, adding that while the helicopter hoisted seven people from the floe, four others were rescued by the Coast Guard airboat.

“...And the remaining seven were rescued and transported to shore by a Good Samaritan who also had an airboat on scene.”

The news release added that while medical services were on stand-by, “no one required medical attention”.

The incident came a day after National Weather Service warned against venturing in the ice on Lake Erie, reported CBS-affiliate WTOL 11, adding that the ice floes are likely to break away from the shore due to wind gusts this weekend.

Issuing an advisory following the incident on Sunday, the Coast Guard urged all who seek recreational opportunities on the ice “to take precautions, not chances.”

“Remember to dress appropriately for the water temperature, not the air temperature; to wear a life jacket and carry a reliable form of communication.”

It also advised the individuals to carry icepicks or screwdrivers “that can help them self-rescue if they go through the ice”.

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