The US Coast Guard has warned people not to stand on potentially deadly lake ice after over two dozen people had to be rescued at Lake Michigan on Sunday alone. The people, including six children, became stranded on two separate ice floes that had broken away and drifted into open water.
The first rescue took place near Sherwood Point, Wisconsin. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay brought 11 people safely back to shore.
Later the same day, crews from Station Saginaw River, Air Station Detroit, and Air Station Traverse City worked together to get another 14 people off a floe near Sebewaing, Michigan. Two of those rescued were suffering from hypothermia.
"The two large ice rescue cases highlight the unpredictability of the ice on the Great Lakes, especially with fluctuating temperatures," Captain Timothy Hold told NBC Chicago. "We appreciate the swift response from all agencies involved and recovering everyone safely."
How to stay safe
The Coast Guard warned people to take precautions before venturing out on or near water in the winter, and always check for unstable ice beforehand.
Remember that water conducts heat away from your body much faster than air the same temperature, so hypothermia can set in much more quickly. Survival time for people who become submerged is greatly diminished in winter.
Make sure you carry a VHF-FM or emergency beacon in case of an emergency, and as with any outdoor expedition, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Keep them updated by phone or satellite communicator if there are any changes to your plan.
For more advice on staying safe in icy weather, see our guide to recognizing and preventing hypothermia.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.