Warmer temperatures, fog lead to 4 Coast Guard responses
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DETROIT — Coast Guard small boat stations from western Lake Erie to Saginaw Bay responded to four separate ice rescue cases Wednesday evening involving outdoorsman who became disoriented or were caught on broken-off ice floes.
Names associated with these rescue cases are not being released by the Coast Guard.
Due to the increase in air temperatures and the uptick in ice response cases, the Coast Guard warns ice fishermen and operators of snowmobiles, ATVs and four-wheelers of unstable ice conditions and encourages the use of the following safety tips, most easily remembered with the acronym I.C.E. (Information, Clothing, Equipment) when engaging in recreational activities on or around the ice.
- Know the current and projected weather forecast. Stay off the ice in extreme fog conditions.
- Tell a friend or loved one where you are going and the path of travel you will use to get there. Bring navigational equipment with you, such as GPS and a compass to avoid becoming disoriented. If you find yourself in heavy fog or low visibility, do not divert from your planned path of travel. Coast Guard crews will start their search with your known path of travel provided by the person who reports you as overdue.
- Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature and wear a life jacket as a precaution in case you fall through.
- Take the appropriate communication equipment with you, like a VHF-FM radio, flares, signaling equipment, lanterns, whistle or a personal locator beacon.
- Carry ice picks, screwdrivers or similar tools that you can use to pull yourself out should you fall through the ice. Simple tools like these can save your life in icy waters where every minute counts.
- Cell phones can be unreliable offshore and have limited battery power; especially in cold weather. If you do bring your phone, know how to obtain the GPS position from it, to provide to responders in the event of disorientation.