Coast Guard Saves 20 Fisherman Marooned on an Ice Floe in Lake Erie

(PatriotWise.com) — A group of 20 people who had gotten stranded on an ice floe in Lake Erie were once again safe after either being rescued or escaping the floe on their own, NBC News reported.

According to a press release from the US Coast Guard, at 10:21 a.m. on Monday, the Coast Guard and local first responders received reports that over 20 people were stuck on an ice flow about one-half mile from the shore near Catawba Island State Park in Ohio.

Coast Guard units from Air Station Detroit and Station Marblehead, along with rescue crews from the Ottowa County Sheriff’s Office and the Put-in-Bay Fire Department, responded to the scene.

Nine people were rescued by the Coast Guard, while the Put-in-Bay Fire Department retrieved four others. Another seven were able to escape the ice floe using their airboats.

According to the Coast Guard, no injuries were reported.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit Public Affairs Officer Lt. Adeeb Ahmad said in the press release that ice floes, a floating sheet of ice that breaks off from larger ice formations, are “unpredictable” and can be “hazardous,” especially in strong currents or windy conditions.

In recent days, the Midwest has been battling severe weather, with freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Temperatures in the area were in the teens over the weekend but had warmed to the 30s by Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday’s incident was not the first time the US Coast Guard has been called to rescue stranded people near Catawba Island State Park.

In 2019, crews from multiple local agencies and the Coast Guard rescued dozens of ice fishermen who got trapped on the ice near Catawba after an ice floe broke free. In total, 46 people were rescued, while another 100 were able to escape to shore either by swimming or finding “ice bridges” to make it to shore.

In 2022, the Coast Guard, along with a good Samaritan with an airboat, had to rescue 18 people who became stranded after an ice floe broke free near Catawba.

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