Coast Guard Air Station Detroit helicopter crews conduct rescue training on ice-covered Lake St. Clair

Great Lakes Coast Guard News
LAKE ST. CLAIR — Multiple rescue helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit conducted ice rescue training on Lake St. Clair Wednesday.

The unit’s aircrews, operating MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopters, are based out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mt. Clemens, Mich., and regularly conduct training to ensure that they are always ready to respond to mariners in distress in the water or on the ice.

Air Station Detroit is one of only a few units in the Coast Guard that operate and train in the snow and ice.

“Training is the foundation for our operational capability,” said Cmdr. Keith Overstreet, executive officer of Air Station Detroit. “The Coast Guard’s motto is ‘Semper Paratus,’ which means ‘Always Ready,’ and to be ready we must train in the diverse environments in which we are required to operate.”

People should be cautious and properly equipped when they venture out on the ice.  They should heed all warnings or instructions about local conditions. Ice conditions can change rapidly on the lakes and bays.  Winds shift and bad weather can move in unpredictably.

“Boaters often ask me what they should take with them to help be spotted from a helicopter if in an emergency situation, and I tell them to have strobe lights, flares, and a portable marine band radio,” said Lt. Jason Neiman, a pilot at the air station.  “The same is true for ice fishermen.”

When venturing out, a person should think I.C.E.:

Intelligence – know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.

Clothing – have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life preserver.

Equipment – have the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, in case you fall in. Use these items to dig into the ice and pull yourself out. They are more effective than bare hands! Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.

Air Station Detroit ice rescue training

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer is lowered onto ice-covered Lake St. Clair out of an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit as the aircrew conducts rescue training, Feb. 6, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Neiman

 

Air Station Detroit ice rescue training

A rescue aircrew, aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, conducts rescue training on ice-covered Lake St. Clair, Feb. 6, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Neiman

Air Station Detroit ice rescue training

Chief Petty Officer Jamie Force prepares to be hoisted aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter during rescue training on ice-covered Lake St. Clair, Feb. 6, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Neiman

Related Posts

Comments are closed.