Dozens rescued after ice floes break away on Lake Michigan

Ice, Weather, Lake Michigan, U.S.

The US Coast Guard and several other agencies have rescued 66 people stranded on ice floes in a bay on Lake Michigan.

Ice boats and helicopters were used to reach the people who had been ice fishing in Door County, Wisconsin.

Three separate ice floes broke away after cracks developed between the shore and groups of people, the Coast Guard said.

High winds associated with an approaching winter storm pushed the floes further from shore. No one was injured.

“Today’s success is a direct result of effective training and the longstanding and close relationships with our agency partners in the greater Sturgeon Bay area,” said Commander Bryan Swintek, search and rescue co-ordinator for Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan.

Coast Guard Ice Rescue teams from Sturgeon Bay, Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, two helicopters from Traverse City, Michigan, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and local government agencies assisted in the rescue, which took four hours.

Helicopter crews lowered rescue swimmers to the ice to help co-ordinate the rescues as local first responders and the Coast Guard’s ice boats arrived.

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