Coast Guard rescues five people who fell through the ice on Saginaw Bay

CLEVELAND – U.S. Coast Guard Station Saginaw River rescued five people in Saginaw Bay, Mich., Sunday at approximately 7 p.m.

Three females and two males were rescued after two all-terrain vehicles they had been riding fell through the ice. The victims were able to get out of the water, back onto the ice and call 911.

An SPC-Air airboat from Station Saginaw River and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit were dispatched to the scene.

“We got out there and picked up all five people,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Greg Torrey, coxswain of Saginaw River’s airboat. “They all seemed okay, not hypothermic, just wet and really cold.”

The airboat transported the five to Thomas Marina, where they were met by local EMS and checked for injuries.

“We dropped them off at the marina and they all got checked out by the ambulance,” added Torrey. “They didn’t need to go to the hospital.”

The Ninth Coast Guard District would like to remind the Great Lakes public to take charge of their safety this ice fishing season as temperatures remain mild throughout the Great Lakes.

Because Great Lakes ice is dangerous and unpredictable, the Coast Guard advises people to remember the following:

  • I – Intelligence – check the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going and know how to call for help/assistance.
  • C – Clothing – wear the proper anti-exposure clothes with multiple layers. If possible, wear a dry suit to prevent hypothermia, which can occur within minutes after falling through the ice.
  • E – Equipment – have the proper equipment such as a marine band radio, life jackets and screw drivers.

Recreational ice fisherman are encouraged to:

  • Use the buddy system: NEVER go out on the ice alone.
  • Dress in bright colors; and wear an anti-exposure suit that is waterproof, including a personal flotation device (PFD).
  • Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers for self-rescue. They are much more effective than using your hands.
  • Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people that you are in distress such as a cell phone or a VHF-FM radio.
  • Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges and slushy areas, which signify thinner ice.

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