Coast Guard Air Station Detroit rescues man on Lake St. Clair

Rescue crews from Air Station Detroit and EMS pose for a photo Jan. 11, 2018 following the rescue of a man from Lake St. Clair. Crews rescued the man off the ice after he became disoriented and unable to find his way to shore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Air Station Detroit)

Rescue crews from Air Station Detroit and EMS pose for a photo Jan. 11, 2018 following the rescue of a man from Lake St. Clair. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Air Station Detroit)

CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man from the ice Thursday in Mitchell’s Bay, Ontario, on Lake St. Clair.

Shortly after 6 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard 9th District Command Center were contacted by crews at Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Trenton, requesting assistance in the search and rescue of a man on the ice in Mitchell’s Bay, Ontario, on Lake St. Clair.

They reported they had ascertained his position via cell phone ping and the Ontario Provincial Police and the Chatham Police and Fire Departments had responded by land, but the Royal Canadian Air Force was unable to respond due to weather.

A crew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit was tasked to respond. They arrived on scene, roughly 1.5 miles from shore, and hoisted the man from the ice. The crew reported poor visibility with fog down to the surface. They were only able to see the man using night vision goggles and could barely see the light from his cell phone.

The crew reported that the man was hypothermic, discovering he had been out on the ice since around 6 a.m., and was wet from being rained on along with 3-inches of water on the ice he was wading through due to warm temperatures. He reported the fog prevented him from seeing shore and was lost out on the ice with more rain forecasted for the night and freezing rain expected by morning.

He was taken back to Air Station Detroit, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base due to low fuel in the helicopter and transferred to an awaiting EMS. The man was taken to McLaren Macomb Hospital where U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel coordinated his return to Canada.

The Coast Guard reminds outdoorsman of the dangers of heading out without communication equipment, navigation equipment, and no float or ice plan.

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