By Breasia Williams

A Coast Guard rescue mission on Monday, January 22nd saved 20 people who were stranded on an ice floe a mile off shore. The group of 20 were described as ice fishermen who ventured onto the floe. Read on to learn more about what we know and how this group ended up stranded on the ice.

Suggested read: Get A Car With Your Tax Refund In A Few Easy Steps

What We Know About The Ice Floe Rescue

The incident took place on Lake Erie. The US Coast Guard Great Lakes District responded to a call at 10:21am about people who needed to be rescued from the lake ice. Upon arrival, the group was found near Port Clinton, Ohio, off shore of Catawba Island State Park.

A Coast Guard helicopter and two airboats were deployed by the Coast Guard to assist in the rescue. By 12:45pm, the rescue mission was complete. Nine people were rescued via Coast Guard rescue boat and four people were rescued by the Put-In-Bay Fire Department.

The remaining 13 people were able to escape the ice floe and make it to shore using their own airboats. No injuries were reported.

Related read: 3 Quick Tips To Practice Gratitude And Improve Your Well-Being

How The Group Become Stranded On The Ice

When found, all 20 people were on the same piece of ice. In addition to the US Coast Guard and local fire department personnel, Transfer Station Marblehead and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office personnel were on the scene.

US Coast Guard Station Marblehead Petty Officer Cory Nussbaum stated that a small crack in the ice formed and grew over time. In addition to the weight of the 20 people, the wind pushed the ice floe until it was detached and floating in the lake. The ice floe was a mile long.

The Coast Guard issued a statement to the public, urging extreme caution around ice formations.

How To Avoid Lake Dangers

Ice floes can be unpredictable and very dangerous in areas with high winds or strong currents. For the 20 fishermen, being stuck on the ice may have begun to prompt questions such as, “How deep is Lake Erie?”

With near freezing temperatures and water that is meters deep, being stuck on an ice floe is not an ideal place to be, as it can be very hard to escape.

It is important to have basic knowledge about the area that you will be visiting. This includes the water depth and present marine life. Additionally, knowing the Lake Erie marine forecast would have been helpful to these ice fishermen.

Marine forecasts focus on weather related predictions such as wind, waves, fog, thunderstorms, ice accretion, and visibility in marine areas. The National Weather Service provides both forecasts and warning services.

If possible, have emergency plans in place. This can include communication devices and escape plans and materials such as airboats.

Always check local weather and ice conditions before venturing out. It is encouraged to stay away from areas with major ice formations to avoid ice floe encounters at all.

Read next: Janet Yamanaka Mello Stole $100M From the Army to Live In Luxury




Get the latest news and military discounts