The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 46 ice fishermen from an ice floe that broke free Saturday morning near Catawba Island, which is off the Ohio coast in western Lake Erie.
Another 100 people were able to safely reach land by swimming or walking on portions of ice that were initially connected to the floe and remained unbroken. But as the temperatures rose, the ice broke into separate floes.
The Coast Guard at the Marblehead station, roughly 50 miles east of Toledo, said it was notified at 8:13 a.m. that roughly 100 people were stranded on an ice floe, with another 30 to 40 people in the water.
That prompted a response that included two 20-foot special-purpose airboats from the local station, two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters from Detroit, and two MH-60 helicopters from Traverse City, Michigan, to assist with a mass rescue.
By the time the Coast Guard arrived at 8:50 a.m., anyone who had either fallen in the water or decided to jump in the water in an attempt to reach land were all found on ice or land.
By 11:15 a.m., everyone who had been stranded was rescued.
The Coast Guard strongly urges people to avoid going out in the ice, which may seem solid, but may actually be weakened with warmer temperatures.