Ice Rescue: 8 Safely Moved to Shore from Bay of Green Bay
NEAR NEW FRANKEN, Wis.--Eight ice fishermen have been rescued ater being stranded on the Bay of Green Bay because of high winds. The Coast Guard says the ice they were on broke apart just off Bay-Shore Park.
Around nine Monday morning a bystander called 911 saying they could see about a dozen people stranded on an ice floe. Some were able to jump to safety and emergency crews rescued eight others. One of the rescued anglers describes the tense situation.
"I never thought this would happen to me it happened so fast we didn't have a chance to get off," said Ron Hazaert.
Hazaert is now safe at shore after spending nearly an hourstranded on the bay of Green Bay. When the ice split Hazaert was in his ice shack.
"I opened it up to look at the ice had separated about 30 to 40 feet already and there was water in between the cracks and chunks" said Hazaer.
Using airboats, the Brown County Sheriff's Department, the Coast Guard, and the New Franken Fire Department bring Hazaert and the other anglers to shore. Luckily no one was injured. But rescue crews say it's a lesson to avoid the ice when there is warm weather and high winds.
"There is an awful lot of open water in the bay so wherever the wind is blowing that is where the ice shelf will go," said Lt. Steve Perry with the Brown County Sheriff's Department.
The people who were rescued were fishing about a mile away from shore. But the Coast Guard says conditions on the ice are just too dangerous to be out at all and are asking other ice fishermen to come back in.
"With temperatures in the forties this week the ice will deteriorate very badly very quickly" said Carl Vandenavond, with the New Franken Fire Department.
The ice fishermen used their ATV's to get out on the ice wich rescue crews say is between four and eight inches thick. The DNR says ice must be at least five inches for a snowmobile or ATV to safely travel on.
Conditions now, just too unpredictable.
"It'll be a while...But this isn't going to stop me from fishing," said Hazaert.
The DNR says it's up to anglers to check how thick the ice is. If you do venture out, they suggest always bringing your cellphone and a life jacket.