Coast Guard conducts ice rescues on Saginaw Bay

DETROIT – The Coast Guard conducted two ice rescues on Saginaw Bay, Sunday, rescuing one man who had fallen through the ice while on an ATV, and another man who became stranded while ice fishing

Coast Guard Station Saginaw River Airboat file photo.

Coast Guard Station Saginaw River Airboat file photo.


The Coast Guard was contacted by Bay City emergency 911 stating that an ice fisherman, about two miles off of Pinconning State Park, heard someone screaming for help at approximately 7:30 a.m.

A Coast Guard Sector Detroit command center watchstander issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Station Saginaw River ice rescue team and an Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aircrew.

The ice rescue team trailered an airboat to Piconning State Park and launched onto the ice. With the help of Bay City Fire Department on shore, the ice rescue team was able to locate the 52-year-old within ten minutes, about two miles offshore. At the same time, the helicopter crew also arrived on scene and deployed a rescue swimmer onto the ice.

The man was pulled out of the water and onto the airboat. He was hoisted and transported by Coast Guard helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital suffering from severe hypothermia.

In the second case, an ice rescue crew from Station Saginaw River recsued a fisherman at about 4:30 pm. after he became stranded on ice on Saginaw Bay about eight miles east of Piconning State Park. The man had spent the previous night on the ice and was unable to return to shore after a crack developed around his shanty.

The Coast Guard is urging people to stay off of all ice as warmer temperatures, rain and wind continue to weaken ice. In addition, fog will make it easier for a person to become disoriented. Conditions are becoming extremely dangerous. Decisions to venture out onto the ice can be deadly.

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