At least 4 people rescued off the Saginaw Bay - WNEM TV 5

At least 4 people rescued off the Saginaw Bay

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

At least four people were brought back to shore in rescue operations on the Saginaw Bay on Friday.

Officials at the scene report receiving about six calls on Friday for help on the ice.

>>Listen to 911 ice rescue calls<<

Two people were rescued by a private company after becoming trapped on an ice floe.

"My buddy texted me and told me that the ice has shifted. By the time we got packed up it had opened up 300 yards," said Bob Sallee.

He is one of the fishermen that had to be rescued on Friday.

It happened just before 8 a.m.

Another pair were rescued by the Bangor Township Fire Department.

>>Related: Who pays for ice rescues?<<

Several others that also became trapped were able to make their way back across.

Two fishermen, who wished to remain anonymous, said they did not expect the ice to break apart.

"We were sitting out there and I have an underwater camera and you could see the bottom moving," one fisherman said.

"It wasn't a good feeling. Yeah, I was really like sick to my stomach," the other fisherman said.

Officials are telling other ice fishermen in the area to get off the ice. Bay County Central Dispatch had the following message for those that venture out: 

"SERIOUSLY!! Stay. Off. The. Saginaw. Bay!! Ice Rescues in progress."

The anglers TV5 spoke to on Friday stand by their decision to venture out.

"We spudded all the way out there and then drove our snowmobile and spudded some more. The ice was fine. It just ended up cracking away," one fisherman said.

"This is probably our 40th trip out here this year. First time anything ever dangerous has really happened to us, you know. That's not to have an excuse for it at all, but I mean, stuff happens. I think it caught a lot of people off guard today," another fisherman said.

Steve Ulbricht, owner of Scuba Steve and TK Ice Recovery, was out getting equipment off the ice floe. He even got a snowmobile across the watery gap.

"Give it some gas and go. Nothing to it," Ulbricht said.

He said he has been very busy this season. He urges people to stay off the ice.

"It's not nothing to mess with man. She's nasty out there," Ulbricht said.

That's advice the fishermen TV5 talked to said they will follow.

"I think it's time to get the boat out now," one of them said.

"It's good ice out there, but there's too many cracks. It's done. I'm done," the other fisherman said.

This is at least the third ice rescue this week.

At least 12 distress calls and two deaths have occurred on the Saginaw Bay this year.

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