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Coast Guard rescues 46 from Lake Erie ice floe

Posted: 4:32 PM, Mar 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-09 16:32:54-05
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CATAWABA ISLAND, OH (WKBW) — The U.S. Coast Guard announced 46 ice fishermen were rescued from an ice floe that broke free at the western end of Lake Erie near Catawaba Island Saturday.

The coast guard says an additional 100 people were able to rescue themselves by either swimming or walking on ice-bridges that were still connected to the floe initially.

The incident took place around 8 a.m. Saturday when Coast Guard Station Marblehead received a report of 30 to 40 people in the water and 100 people stranded.

When authorities arrived to the scene around 8:50 a.m. those who were in the water were back on land or ice, but as the temperatures continued to rise the ice broke into multiple floes.

Two 20-foot Special Purpose Craft–airboats, two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters were called in to assist the coast guard and other local agencies in the rescue.

All were rescued by 11:15 a.m., authorities urge people not to go out on the ice as it make look safe but it is difficult to determine the thickness visually.