Photo used with permission by Don Detloff, a resident of Marine City aboard a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter on an ice reconnaissance mission.

US Coast Guard: Stay Off The Ice

With rising temperatures, the U.S. Coast Guard says venturing on icy lakes and rivers can be dangerous.

Temperatures have been flirting with record highs this week. With that, ice on the Great Lakes and inland bodies of water is thinning or vanishing completely.

The Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center says they have recently responded to 21 people falling through the ice. Of them, 13 were on ATVs or snowmobiles, six were ice fishing and two were walking on or near ice.

Three of those people died.

U.S. Coast Guard Commander Kevin Floyd, search and rescue mission coordinator, says people are still going out despite repeated warnings not to, and they are paying the price.

“Last week, we warned people of the increasing temperature and the associated dangers of going out on the ice,” says Floyd in a news release. “We issued the warning after rescuing ten people and losing one life due to unstable ice conditions and fog.”

The Coast Guard works in cooperation with Environment Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard to monitor daily ice conditions.

“The recent warm period combined with winds have decayed the ice in certain areas,” says Environment Canada ice specialist Jean-Yves Rancourt in the news release.

Floyd says anyone planning to head out on the ice should keep in mind the acronym ICE, which stands for Information, Clothing and Equipment.

The Coast Guard says people should pay attention to the current weather and ice conditions, wear clothing appropriate for the water temperature, and take equipment such as life jackets, ice picks and radios.