Coast Guard rescues man from ice floe on Saginaw Bay - WNEM TV 5

Coast Guard rescues man from ice floe on Saginaw Bay

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A Coast Guard rescue helicopter. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter.

The U.S. Coast Guard came to a man's rescue after he became stranded on an ice floe in the Saginaw Bay near the mouth of the Kawkawlin River.

The rescue happened early Tuesday afternoon after the man called authorities to say he needed help.

The Coast Guard wouldn't release the man's name or his hometown. 

At about 12:40 p.m., search-and-rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Detroit received phone calls concerning a man who was stranded on an ice floe in Saginaw Bay, one of the phone calls coming from the stranded man himself.

Upon receiving the report, Coast Guard rescue crews launched aboard a helicopter from Air Station Detroit and a 20-foot special boat from Coast Guard Station Saginaw River, in Essexville, Mich.

The airboat crew arrived on scene first and assisted the man back to shore. He was found to be in good condition and did not request medical attention.

The recent breakup of ice floes are due to the warmer temperatures this past weekend and with spring fast approaching, the Coast Guard is warning people to stay off old, weathered ice.

Authorities said Tuesday's rescue is a perfect example of how ice can be unsafe and extremely hazardous to ice enthusiasts. Ice conditions throughout the Great Lakes are becoming increasingly unsafe with each passing day.

"With the prediction of warmer temperatures, there is a concern that people will be at risk for falling through the ice or becoming stranded on an ice floe," said Capt. Stephen Torpey, chief of response at the 9th Coast Guard District. "Ice enthusiasts in the Great Lakes are likely to see deteriorating ice conditions and are strongly recommended to take extra precautions with their safety."

The Coast Guard warns people to never venture out on the ice alone and always tell someone where you are going and how long you intend to be gone. The Coast Guard also recommends that a flotation device be carried when near or on the water.

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