Coast Guard called to rescue six on ice floes

The Saginaw News reports that:

The U.S. Coast Guard helped rescue six men trapped on separate ice floes in Saginaw Bay.

The first call came in Friday afternoon reporting four fishermen stranded on an ice floe southwest of Fish Point in Tuscola County.

The men had rode all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles out for a day of ice fishing, and wind from Friday’s storm broke off a large plate of ice.

“Those plates continued to move to the west, since there’s no ice out there,” said Travis Ruterbusch, boatswains mate second class.

The Coast Guard Station Saginaw River’s 20-foot ice rescue boat was launched and got two of the men off the ice. Another boat that responded to the call for help — “Some good samaritans,” Ruterbusch said — got the other two men off the ice.

Shortly after the first group was rescued, another call came in with two men stranded on a separate ice floe southwest of Fish Point. The Coast Guard crew located the men on thin, unstable ice.

The ice floes had drifted 2 to 3 nautical miles — the equivalent of 2.3 to 3.45 miles over land — before the rescuers plucked the men off the ice, Ruterbusch said.

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