25 people rescued during two ice floe events

The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued 25 people during two different ice floe incidents, off the shores of Wisconsin and Michigan. The agency is warning winter enthusiasts of unstable ice conditions, and encourages people to take safety precautions seriously.

The two rescues happened Monday, February 6. Station Sturgeon Bay crew members responded to 11 people stranded on an ice floe off Sherwood Point, Wisconsin. Working with partner agencies, the Coast Guard crew safely transported five adults and six children to shore.

Following the response in Wisconsin, the Coast Guard received reports of people stranded on an ice floe, and in the water, off Sebewaing, Michigan. Fourteen people were safely transported to shore in varying conditions with two receiving care for hypothermia.

Before heading out on the water, the Coast Guard asks for you to remember the following:

  • Take precautions, not chances. The risk of death from accidental immersion during cold weather seasons is higher than in warm seasons. The water is colder and survival time is greatly diminished.
  • Dress for the water temperatures. Cold water lowers body heat dramatically faster than cold air. Even if you are not planning on entering the water, the possibility of that happening is very real.
  • Never leave without a VHF-FM radio or personal locator beacon and always be sure to tell someone where you are going, when you expect to return and advise them of any changes in the plan. Every minute counts in a cold-water environment, and preparation may mean the difference between life and death.

Unstable ice conditions and varying air temperatures have resulted in historically low ice coverage on the Great Lakes. Always check ice conditions before venturing on or near the water.