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The U.S. Coast Guard launched a rescue operation on Monday to help save 20 people who were stranded on an ice floe on Lake Erie, officials said.
The group was stuck on the ice about half a mile off the shore of Catawba Island State Park near Port Clinton, Ohio, the Coast Guard said.
Rescuers responded around 10:20 a.m. to the initial call, deploying two Coast Guard airboats and a helicopter to help with the operation, Petty Officer Jessica Fontenette told The Associated Press.
The Coast Guard rescued nine people from the ice floe, while the Put-in-Bay Fire Department saved four others. The remaining seven stranded individuals were able to make it ashore using their own airboat, the Coast Guard said. No injuries were reported.
23 SKIERS AND SNOWBOARDERS RESCUED FROM VERMONT BACKCOUNTRY AFTER GETTING LOST IN FRIGID TEMPERATURES
The U.S. Coast Guard responded with two airboats and a helicopter to help rescue 20 fishermen stranded on an ice flow on Lake Erie. (U.S. Coast Guard)
The stranded group was described in local media as ice fishermen who ventured onto the ice floe.
The Coast Guard rescued nine people from the ice floe. Firefighters rescued four while seven others made it to safely to shore on their own airboat. (U.S. Coast Guard)
Officials told the Fremont Messenger that a crack in the ice grew larger as strong winds pushed the ice floe, eventually turning the crack into a body of water and trapping the fishermen.
Officials warned that windy conditions can create hazardous conditions on ice floes. (U.S. Coast Guard)
BODY OF TENNESSEE HKER MISSING IN SUBZERO TEMPERATURES RECOVERED BELOW 700-FOOT BLUFF
The Coast Guard issued a statement warning the public to exercise extreme caution around ice formations.
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“Ice floes are unpredictable and can quickly become hazardous, particularly in windy conditions or strong currents,” said Lt. Adeeb Ahmad, Sector Detroit Public Affairs Officer. “Always check local ice conditions before venturing out and be prepared for any emergencies.”