Coast Guard Sector Detroit warns public of thin and decreasing ice

DETROIT – The Coast Guard is advising the public in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to avoid going on lakes and rivers until ice is more stable after a streak of ice-related incidents.

Ice conditions continue to deteriorate.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit’s Command Center recently responded to 21 persons in distress; out of those, three people lost their lives. The instances surrounding the cases included 13 people on vehicles (ATV and snowmobile) breaking through the ice, six fishing incidents and two people walking on or near the ice.

“Last week, we warned people of the increasing temperature and the associated dangers of going out on the ice,” said Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, Cmdr. Kevin Floyd. “We issued the warning after rescuing 10 people and losing one life due to unstable ice conditions and fog.”

The U.S. Coast Guard works closely with Canadian ice specialists and observers to ascertain daily ice conditions on the Great Lakes.

“The recent warm period combined with winds have decayed the ice in certain areas,” said Environment Canada Ice Specialist Jean-Yves Rancourt.

The Coast Guard continues to encourage people to remember the acronym I.C.E; information – including current weather conditions, clothing – proper for the water temperature, equipment – like radios, life jackets and ice awls; and advise the public not to venture out until the ice is more stable.

“If you add the responses we’ve had over the past week, Sector Detroit rescued 18 people and lost three lives,” said Floyd. “These numbers speak for themselves; we want people to stay off the ice until conditions improve and share the information with their friends and loved ones.”

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