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CLEVELAND, OH ----   FEBRUARY 11, 2013 ---  Coast Guard ice rescue crews in Saginaw Bay Michigan-based Coast Guard aircrew rescue 10CLEVELAND -- Coast Guard crews from Air Station Detroit and Station Saginaw River, in Essexville, Mich., rescued 10 people, including two children, on Saginaw Bay Sunday night, during two separate cases.

Michigan-based Coast Guard aircrew PHOTO

Coast Guard aircrew Lt. Cmdr. Brian Breguet, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Harrison, Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandan Dent, and Lt. Jason Neiman, of Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, hoisted four men from the ice during two separate cases on Saginaw Bay, Feb. 8, 2013. One man suffering from hypothermia was transported to McLaren Hospital, while three other men were hoisted and transported to Saginaw Airport in good condition.
U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Air Station Detroit


Six people were rescued from the ice southeast of Linwood Beach, and four people were rescued off Fish Point, Mich.

At 9 p.m., Sunday night, search-and-rescue coordinators from Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a report of two snowmobilers who broke through the ice southeast of Linwood Beach, in Linwood, Mich. Two good samaritans arrived on scene but were unable to assist and also became stranded because of expanding fissures in the ice. The six people took shelter in an ice shanty. Station Saginaw River rescue crew launched aboard a 20-foot Special Purpose Craft-Air to assist.

The rescue crew transported the six people to Thomas Marina in Linwood, where they were evaluated by emergency medical services and released in good health.

One hour later, at approximately 10 p.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Saginaw Bay received a 911 relay about four people stranded on an ice floe in Saginaw Bay near Linwood. A rescue crew from Station Saginaw River launched aboard a 20-foot Special Purpose Craft-Air to assist. A rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit launched aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter.

Also assisting were Linwood, Kawkawlin and Bay County Fire Department rescue crews.

The Coast Guard rescue airboat crew removed the four people from the ice floe and transported them to shore where they were evaluated by EMS and released in good condition.

"The people that were rescued today got into trouble because they were unaware of the changing weather conditions,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Don Hamilton, a crewmember on the ice rescue team at Coast Guard Station Saginaw River. “If there was one thing that I could tell people to avoid a similar situation – it would be to become intelligent about the current weather conditions and more importantly the future weather conditions. Understanding the effects the weather has on the strength of ice would help people avoid getting into these extremely hazardous situations.”

Sixteen people have been rescued from the ice in Saginaw Bay this weekend by the Coast Guard and local agencies. Five were rescued by an MH-65C Dolphin Helicopter, from Air Station Detroit, Friday night. Another man was rescued Friday night by an ice rescue team from the Bay County Fire Department

“People who are looking to recreate on the ice need to be wary of ice conditions,” said Capt. Andrew Sugimoto, chief of the 9th Coast Guard District Incident Management Branch. “Ice that is safe now may not be in two hours when you need to get back to shore.”

When venturing out on the ice, a person should remember the acronym I.C.E.:

Intelligence - know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.

Clothing - have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life preserver.

Equipment - have the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, which can give you a grip to pull yourself out of the ice if you fall through and are much more effective than bare hands. Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.

Coast Guard crews from Air Station Detroit and Station Saginaw River, and Essexville, Mich., rescued five men on Saginaw Bay Friday night, during two separate cases.

Two men were rescued from the eastern part of the bay, while three additional men were hoisted about a mile off of Bay City.

At about 7:30 p.m., search-and-rescue coordinators from Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a report of two snowmobilers who crashed through the ice about a mile off of Fish Point. A Station Saginaw River rescue crew launched aboard a 20-foot Special Purpose Craft-Air to assist. An aircrew from Air Station Detroit also responded aboard an MH-65C helicopter. The two men who had fallen through the ice were able to get out on their own by the time rescuers had arrived.

One of the individuals was experiencing signs of hypothermia and needed prescription medication he had lost in the water, so he was hoisted into the helicopter and transported to McLaren Hospital. While transporting the other individual to shore, the SPC-Air from Station Saginaw River froze onto the ice.. A Huron County airboat crew arrived on scene to help free the Coast Guard boat and transport the individual to shore.

Two hours later, at approximately 9:40 p.m., the Coast Guard received a 911 relay about three disoriented snowmobilers near Bay City. The crew from Air Station Detroit, returning to base following the earlier case, diverted and arrived on scene within minutes. Three men were hoisted and brought to Saginaw Airport in good condition and with no medical needs.

"Cases like tonight's can often end in tragedy," said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Breguet, one of the Coast Guard pilots. "We were able to spot these men because of their reflective clothing. We recommend that people headed out onto the ice dress for the water not just the snow, and carry signaling devices and a portable marine band radio. Cell phones aren't always reliable on the bay."

"Tonight was also an excellent example of coordination by the Coast Guard and our local rescue partners in Saginaw Bay,” said Lt. Jason Neiman, another member of the aircrew. “Combined efforts like this are important when lives are on the line.”

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