The Coast Guard said Sunday it helped rescue 18 people from an ice floe that broke away from land near Catawba Island on Lake Erie in Ohio. The Coast Guard rescued 11 of the people, while a “Good Samaritan” who had an airboat rescued the remaining seven, the Coast Guard said.
None of the people rescued required medical attention, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard said rescue efforts began around 1 p.m., when a helicopter from Air Station Detroit noticed the people with ATVs trapped on an ice floe and looking for a route back to land. The helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer and began hoisting operations while an airboat from Station Marblehead was brought in for assistance.
The helicopter hoisted seven people from the ice floe, four were rescued by the airboat and the seven were rescued by the civilian with the airboat.
The Coast Guard told CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO that the ice floe broke away while people were snowmobiling.
The National Weather Service in Cleveland said on Sunday that it had been “warning about this potential yesterday, and can see ice chunks drifting away from the southern shoreline of Lake Erie on satellite. We strongly urge people not to venture out onto Lake Erie this afternoon!”
A Marine Weather Statement remains in effect for the area until Monday afternoon.