Recently the coast guard rescued 18 people from Lake Erie. They were snowmobiling when a sheet of floating ice broke off from the other mass. Coast Guard Station Marblehead airboat and an Air Station Detroit helicopter were used by the authorities to rescue the 18 people.
“The helicopter lowered its rescue swimmer and began hoisting operations while Station Marblehead’s airboat got underway,” said the Coast Guard in a news release.
#BREAKING Mass rescue of 20 people underway with @USCG Station Marblehead airboat and Air Station Detroit helicopter near #CatawbaIsland in #LakeErie. Ice floe broke away while people were snowmobiling, etc. Good Samaritan with airboat also assisting. #GreatLakesWinterSafety
— USCG Great Lakes (@USCGGreatLakes) February 6, 2022
How the 18 People were Rescued
The National Weather Service had warned the people that the high speed of wind can cause the ice to break off. People were advised to exercise caution. However, some did not pay heed to these warnings and went snowmobiling anyway. The rescue mission then had to be initiated to salvage the people.
The warning was given through this tweet: “You are urged to stay off the ice on Lake Erie as there is the possibility that the ice will drift away from shore. Dangerous ice conditions could develop causing people to become trapped on the ice.”
Seven people were saved with the help of the helicopter deployed by the Coast Guard. Two airboats helped to save the other eleven. The floe was near Catawba Island in Ohio. The Coast Guard stated that they had the emergency medical services on standby. Fortunately, none of the 18 people rescued by the Coast Guard required medical attention. This incident received widespread media attention. Several people also offered to help the rescue operations.
How to Mitigate such Risk
After the Coast Guard had rescued 18 people, they advised people as how they can mitigate the risks of such incidents.
Lt. Jeremiah Schiessel of the Coast Guard Sector Detroit gave this advice to the people: “There’s no such thing as safe ice, but people can mitigate their risks. Always be sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Great Lakes ice is unpredictable, and conditions can change fast.”
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