Coast Guard, local Wisconsin agencies rescue 10 stranded people from ice floe

Great Lakes Coast Guard News
MILWAUKEE — The Coast Guard and local agencies near Dyckesville, Wis., rescued 10 people from an ice floe on Lake Michigan after several ice shelves broke loose from a larger ice mass Monday morning.

At approximately  9:46 a.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay received a call from a concerned citizen at Bayshore Park in Dyckesville reporting that 14 people were either stranded or in the water after an ice shelf broke free. The watchstander immediately directed the launch of  an ice rescue crew aboard the station’s 22-foot special purpose craft airboat. The watchstander also coordinated rescue efforts with other local agencies.

It was reported that 14 people had been on the ice shelves that broke free. Of those, four returned to shore by themselves and 10 remained stranded on the ice floe. The Coast Guard rescue crew rescued two people, the Brown County Sherriffs rescued six and the New Franken Fire Department rescued two. The rescue was completed at approximately 10:49 a.m.

“Ice is extremely dangerous and unpredictable and we want to remind everyone to take proper safety precautions when they are on or near icy water,” said Cmdr. Erik Leuenberger, Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan search and rescue mission coordinator. “The multi-agency response from the local and county agencies and the Coast Guard went exceptionally well.”

All 14 people were checked out by emergency medical services on shore and no one needed further treatment at medical facilities.

The water temperature in the area is currently 32 degrees and the air temperature at the time of the rescue was 22 degrees.

While winter recreation on cold water and ice around the Great Lakes is a tradition, the Coast Guard wishes to remind members of the public that venturing out on the ice is dangerous and basic safety precautions, summarized in the acronym ICE, can save lives:

Intelligence – Know the weather and ice conditions, know where you’re going, and know how to call for help.

Clothing – Have proper clothing to prevent hypothermia; dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.

Equipment – Have proper equipment: marine radio, life jackets, screw drivers/ice picks, etc.

Cold water kills quickly! Surprisingly, cold water is defined as any water temperature less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  The fact that air temperatures might be far above freezing is irrelevant when people unexpectedly enter the water.

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