Coast Guard ice rescue crews in Saginaw Bay rescue 10

Great Lakes Coast Guard News
CLEVELAND — Crews from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit and Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, in Essexville, Mich., rescued 10 people, including two children, on Saginaw Bay Sunday night, during two separate cases.

Six people were rescued from the ice southeast of Linwood Beach, and four people were rescued off Fish Point, Mich.

At 9 p.m., Sunday night, search-and-rescue coordinators from Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a report of two snowmobilers who broke through the ice southeast of Linwood Beach, in Linwood, Mich. Two good samaritans arrived on scene but were unable to assist and also became stranded because of expanding fissures in the ice. The six people took shelter in an ice shanty. Station Saginaw River rescue crew launched aboard a 20-foot Special Purpose Craft-Air to assist.

The rescue crew transported the six people to Thomas Marina in Linwood, where they were evaluated by emergency medical services and released in good health.

One hour later, at approximately 10 p.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Saginaw Bay received a 911 relay about four people stranded on an ice floe in Saginaw Bay near Linwood. A rescue crew from Station Saginaw River launched aboard a 20-foot Special Purpose Craft-Air to assist. A rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit launched aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter.

Also assisting were Linwood, Kawkawlin and Bay County Fire Department rescue crews.

The Coast Guard rescue airboat crew removed the four people from the ice floe and transported them to shore where they were evaluated by EMS and released in good condition.

“The people that were rescued today got into trouble because they were unaware of the changing weather conditions,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Don Hamilton, a crewmember on the ice rescue team at Coast Guard Station Saginaw River. “If there was one thing that I could tell people to avoid a similar situation – it would be to become intelligent about the current weather conditions and more importantly the future weather conditions. Understanding the effects the weather has on the strength of ice would help people avoid getting into these extremely hazardous situations.”

Sixteen people have been rescued from the ice in Saginaw Bay this weekend by the Coast Guard and local agencies. Five were rescued by an MH-65C Dolphin Helicopter, from Air Station Detroit, Friday night. Another man was rescued Friday night by an ice rescue team from the Bay County Fire Department

“People who are looking to recreate on the ice need to be wary of ice conditions,” said Capt. Andrew Sugimoto, chief of the 9th Coast Guard District Incident Management Branch. “Ice that is safe now may not be in two hours when you need to get back to shore.”

When venturing out on the ice, a person should remember the acronym 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, which can give you a grip to pull yourself out of the ice if you fall through and are much 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.

For five important facts about ice click here.

To learn more about Coast Guard ice rescue assets click here

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