When it comes to rescue, things like this are pretty incredible. Four helicopters flew out from Michigan on Saturday to come to the rescue of the 135 people that were floating on a miles-wide ice floe, in the middle of Lake Erie. Unfortunately, that number dropped to 134, as one person fell into the water and lost his life. A life wasn’t all that was lost, as people were forced to leave behind their snowmobiles and other all-terrain vehicles. This is something that I am sure will hurt most of them, but in the end, the lives saved far outweighs the tragedy that might have been.
Here’s the story from the Associated Press:
A miles-wide ice floe broke away Saturday from Lake Erie’s shoreline, trapping more than 130 fishermen, some for as long as four hours. One man fell into the water and later died.
A Coast Guard spokesman, Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier, said 134 people had been plucked from the ice by late afternoon. Rescuers lowered baskets onto the ice from helicopters, and people climbed in and were lifted to safety. Others boarded whirring air boats that glided across the ice.
“We were in no danger,” said Norb Pilaczynski of Swanton, Ohio, who was rescued from the lake along with several of his friends. “We knew there was enough ice out there.”
The day began with fishermen setting down wooden pallets to create a bridge over a crack in the ice so they could roam farther out on the lake. But the planks fell into the water when the ice shifted, stranding the fishermen about 1,000 yards off shore.