Coast Guard rescues 8 from the ice on Sturgeon Bay

9th Coast Guard District News
STURGEON BAY, Wisc.,— Crews from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., and Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., rescued eight people stranded on the ice in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., in two separate cases, Saturday afternoon.

Three people were rescued from the ice near Sherwood Point, Wisc., and five people were rescued near Snake Island, Wisc..

A boatcrew aboard a 22-foot Special Purpose Craft-Air Boat from Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay and an aircrew aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Traverse City were conducting an area survey to assess ice conditions and number of people out on the bay of Green Bay. While on patrol the boatcrew discovered three people near Sherwood Point, Wisc., stranded on the ice. The rescue crew safely transported the three people to Wave Point Marina in Sturgeon Bay.

Air Station Traverse City’s CG-6598 helicopter discovered five people stranded near Snake Island, Wisc. Station Sturgeon Bay’s rescue boatcrew responded to remove the five people from the ice floe and transported them to shore.

Also participating in the rescue were rescue crews from Door County Sheriff’s Department, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Brussels Union Gardener Township Fire Department and the Southern Door Fire Department.

All eight people rescued were to be in good condition.

“The spring thaw is here and the ice conditions are very dangerous right now.  People need to be very careful of any activities on the bay of Green Bay this time of year,” said Boatswain Mate Senior Chief Wayne Spritka, officer-in-charge at Station Sturgeon Bay.

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.

The continuing trend of warmer temperatures has caused extremely hazardous ice conditions throughout Lake Michigan, including Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, Lake Winnebago, and other surrounding bodies of water and harbors.

The Coast Guard warns of the possibility of ice breaking apart while ice fishing or transiting on the ice.

For five important facts about ice click here.

To learn more about Coast Guard ice rescue assets click here

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