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5 ice fishermen rescued from Lake Erie ice floe

13 January 2018

Crews were called to Brest Bay near Monroe's William C. Sterling State Park after authorities received two calls about flashing lights on the ice there, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Yaw, a public affairs specialist with the Ninth Coast Guard District.

Shortly before 2am crews at the station in St. Joseph got a call from Berrien County Dispatch that there was an injured man laying on the ice near the bridge. The recent warm weather has caused ice to melt, brought in heavy fog and caused multiple ice rescue cases with one life lost in just the past week.

They were on an ice floe.

The fishermen were taken to Custer Airport in Monroe.

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They reported they had ascertained his position via cell phone ping and the Ontario Provincial Police and the Chatham (Ont.) police and fire departments had responded by land, but the Royal Canadian Air Force was unable to send a crew due to weather. The ice rescue team from Toledo U.S. Coast Guard went out searching, as did the Detroit USCG.

They could barely see him through the fog, even with night vision goggles, but they were able to hoist him on board.

Eight tips for remaining safe when fishing on ice. Ice fishers should also make sure to tell someone where they're going and when they'll be back.

5 ice fishermen rescued from Lake Erie ice floe