Coast Guard, CBP rescue teenager from ice floe

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND – A Coast Guard rescue crew and a Customs and Border Protection boatcrew teamed together to rescue a 14-year old boy from an ice floe in the George Kemp Marina in Sault Ste Marie, Mich., Sunday afternoon.

At around 2 p.m., the moto vessel Objiway contacted a search-and-rescue coordinator from Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie to report a boy stranded on an ice floe about 20 feet off shore.The search-and-rescue coordinator issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting help from any boaters in the area.

A CBP boatcrew conducting training in the area responded to the scene and threw a rope to the boy to prevent him from drifting further off shore. A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Sault Ste Marie, aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, arrived on scene within five minutes. The rescue boat slowly approached the 8-foot by 8-foot ice floe to avoid disturbing it. Two Coast Guard crewmembers on the bow carefully extended a boathook to the boy so he could balance himself, then instructed him over the boat’s loud-hailer to get him safely onboard.

The boy was wearing only shorts and a t-shirt and was unable to move on the ice floe because of its size and instability. The water temperature in the area was only 34 degrees. Had he fallen in the water, the boy would have been hypothermic within minutes.

The rescue crew transferred the boy to awaiting emergency medical services on shore and taken to War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste Marie pending release to a guardian.

“This rescue was successful because it was an all-hands on deck rescue. The Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection crews cooperated seamlessly to bring the boy onboard safely,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Warner, the coxswain of the rescue boat crew. “The quick, precise and careful action of all involved was a smooth process because of the interagency knowledge that the rescue crews had with each other.”

Although ice has melted from the waterways and air temperatures may be mild, water temperatures are still extremely cold and can cause hypothermia and death within a matter of minutes. Recreational water users are advised to dress for the water temperature and not the air, and to consider these factors before venturing out onto the water.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.