18 rescued after being stranded on ice floe in Lake Erie


PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) — Coast Guard authorities say 18 people were rescued from an ice floe that broke away in Lake Erie over the weekend.

Officials said a helicopter from Air Station Detroit noticed a group of people on the floe near Ohio’s Catawba Island at about 1 p.m. Sunday with several all-terrain vehicles seeking a route back to land.

The helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer and began hoisting operations while an airboat got underway from the nearby Marblehead station, the Coast Guard said.

The helicopter lifted seven people from the floe, and the airboat rescued four others, officials said. The other seven people were picked up and taken to shore by a good Samaritan who also had an airboat at the scene.

Emergency medical services were standing by, but no one required medical attention, the Coast Guard said.

Authorities earlier urged people to “stay off the ice on Lake Erie as there is the possibility that the ice will drift away from shore.”

Last week, crews from the two Coast Guard stations were also called in to aid Catawba Island volunteer firefighters in rescuing seven people from another floe west of the peninsula jutting out into the Great Lake.