Six ice fishermen rescued from Lake Erie by helicopter

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 22:01:57-05

Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Co., North Evans Volunteer Fire Co., and Lake Erie Beach Volunteer Fire Co., along with American Medical Response (AMR) emergency medical services, responded to a report of fishermen trapped on Lake Erie after an area of the lake thawed, trapping six fishermen on ice nearly a mile from shore.

After initial attempts to reach the fishermen failed, Erie County Sheriff's Air-1 helicopter was called to the scene to assist in the rescue, something that Air-1 Captain Kevin Caffery says is a regular occurrence.

"It happens every year, there's always a pressure ridge that breaks open if there's an East wind and that's what happened today.  The wind came up and separated the ice from shore."

All six fishermen were uninjured and flown back to shore two at a time by the air unit.

First responders say the fact the fishermen they were appropriately prepared for the conditions helped them escape uninjured.  They've provided a helpful link, which can be found here, on how to prepare for your next ice fishing trip.