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  1. #151
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    Default Man drowns when snowmobile goes through ice

    http://www.grandmarais-mn.com/placed...tory_id=168723

    Wisconsin man drowns in Saganaga

    Cook County News-Herald
    March 25th, 2004

    Ann Possis/Staff writer

    Grand Marais, MN -- Two snowmobilers went through the ice in the narrows on Saganaga Lake at the end of the Gunflint Trail Tuesday evening around 8:30 p.m.

    According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Jared Peter Lystig, 22, of Hillsdale, Wis. was able to jump from his snowmobile and pull himself to safety onto the ice as he watched his friend, Lane Larry Paulson, 38, of Almena, Wis. hit open water and begin to sink.

    Emergency units from the Cook County area were unable to locate Paulson Tuesday night after conducting an extensive search. Paulson’s body was recovered around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

    According to Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Falk, there’s a current that flows north in the narrows, and people usually use a winter portage (trail) instead.

    “They got to the point, and took a left instead of a right, which brought them to the narrows,” Falk said. “They ended up going through the narrows, where there’s open water.”

    Falk said that darkness, open water, and unsafe ice conditions made the rescue effort difficult Tuesday night.

    “We didn’t want to risk the safety of rescuers when we were certain he [Paulson] didn’t make it out of the water.” He said that rescuers on the scene were sure Paulson didn’t make it based on what they saw: A floating helmet, open water and only one set of tracks leading from the scene of the accident. Lystig was treated in the ambulance and released.

    Falk warns snowmobilers and others venturing onto the ice this spring to be very careful.

    “This is the time of year where ice starts to become unpredictable — now it’s very susceptible with the extremes of temperatures, so use extra caution,” he said. “My suggestion if people go on the ice is to bring a PFD [personal flotation device] with them — you just never know.”
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  2. #152
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    Default ICE RESCUE PRACTICE

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...sion_tomorrow/

    AIRBOAT USED IN ICE RESCUE PRACTICE

    3/28/2004

    Donna Goodison

    Southborough, MA --- Southborough firefighters practiced ice maneuvers and rescue techniques on the Sudbury Reservoir on March 15 with members of the State Police marine unit.
    The public-safety officials used Southborough's hovercraft, purchased with a $25,000) community policing grant, and the State Police airboat. Both can move from ice to water. It is illegal for residents to swim or ice skate on the reservoir, which is managed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Water Supply Protection and serves as Greater Boston's reserve drinking supply.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  3. #153
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    Default MAN SAVED AFTER FALLING THROUGH THIN ICE

    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...595#post409595

    MAN SAVED AFTER FALLING THROUGH THIN ICE

    By The Sun Staff
    March 3, 2004

    HOPE VALLEY, RI - The rescue of an ice fisherman on Locustville Pond Wednesday afternoon has prompted a stern word of caution from the fire district chief - the ice is not safe.

    Charles Bednarczyk, 51, of Exeter was ice fishing on the Spring Street pond at about 1 p.m. when he fell through in about 10 to 12 feet of water, said Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District Chief Fred Stanley.

    The fire district's ice-rescue crew was at the scene within minutes because volunteers were already at the Main Street station at the time of the call, said Stanley.

    Stanley said Bednarczyk was out about 250 feet.

    He said his rescue crew, outfitted in flotation gear, were also breaking through the thin ice as they went in to pull Bednarczyk out.

    Rescuers included Hope Valley-Wyoming captains David Dumsar and Jason Caswell, as well as lieutenants William Day and Wayne Flaherty.

    Hope Valley ambulance personnel treated Bednarczyk at the scene.

    Stanley said the rescue crew was also able to retrieve the ice fisherman's tilts and fishing gear.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  4. #154
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    Default Mother drowns trying to save her young son

    http://www.njherald.com/news/newspro...0572465,76020,

    Mother drowns in Culver Lake; Dies trying to save her young son

    March 29, 2004 by Webmaster

    By PAT MINDOS
    Herald Staff Writer

    FRANKFORD — A sunny, spring afternoon turned into a tragedy when a township mother drowned after rescuing her son from the chilling waters of Culver Lake.
    Debbie Snook, 33, of East Shore Road, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday afternoon by paramedics after a diving team located her body.
    “She did lose the battle with water, she actually saved her son and she ended up drowning,” said Trooper David Chirico, of State Police Sussex Barracks.
    The five-year-old child, Dylan, remains hospitalized this morning at Morristown Memorial Hospital. Nursing supervisor Kathy Burwell declined to state the child’s condition because he is a minor.
    Snook’s husband Chris, 34, and their son were canoeing in the lake when the boat capsized. They were not wearing life jackets, according to police.
    State law requires that all boat operators and passengers wear life jackets while boating, according to the State Police at the Marine Law Enforcement Bureau.
    The father helped his son onto the overturned canoe and attempted to push the canoe to shore, police said. However, the child became separated from the canoe.
    Snook was at home next to the lake when she saw her son become separated from the canoe. She dove into the water and swam to her son, said police.
    Mary Grace Lattig, one of Snook’s neighbors, had pulled up in her driveway when she heard “gut wrenching screaming” coming from the lake.
    She looked out and saw people in the water.
    Lattig and her friend Betty Pozner helped Mario Spagnola and his wife Judy, who live nearby, push a boat out to the lake.
    No boats were docked close by the lake since the water had ice on it just five days ago, said Lattig.
    State Police received the call at 12:42 p.m. that a drowning was in progress at the lake, said Chirico.
    Frankford Fire Department was first on the scene, arriving 2-3 minutes later after the call, said Frankford Fire Chief Chuck Konecke.
    Mario Spagnola paddled out on the boat to Snook and the child.
    “We just saw people in the water and the overturned canoe. We called out, they said they needed help. My husband went out in his boat,” said Judy Spagnola, when interviewed by telephone on Sunday night.
    Snook held her son above water until Spagnola’s husband could pull him into his boat.
    At that point, Snook disappeared under the water, according to police. Spagnola returned to shore and revived the child.
    “If it wasn’t for Mario, I don’t think they could have saved the boy,” said Lattig.
    Snook’s husband Chris was able to swim to shore, said police.
    At that time, emergency medical service and state police personnel arrived on the scene, said police.
    Eventually, there were about 70 rescue personnel at the scene, said Konecke.
    The deepest part of Culver Lake is more than 80 feet, but Snook was found where the water is 15 feet deep, according to Konecke.
    The child was transported to Newton Memorial Hospital by Blue Ridge Rescue Squad and medics from Saint Clare’s Hospital, said Linda Larsen, captain of the Blue Ridge Rescue Squad.
    Later, the child was transferred to Morristown Memorial Hospital, said a spokeswoman from Newton Memorial Hospital.
    Around 2:45 p.m., a diver from the Port Jervis, N.Y. Fire Department located Snook’s body. Lattig said her husband’s fish finder helped the diver find the correct location.
    Snook, whose death was deemed accidental, was also not wearing a life jacket, according to Chirico.
    Neighbors by the lake were deeply saddened by Sunday’s tragedy. “She was a lovely, lovely gal, very protective of her son,” said Lattig of Snook.
    Snook’s generous heart was also evident in 2002 when she and her mother-in-law Mischel Snook biked together to raise awareness and money to support AIDS vaccine research. Mischel’s son Rich died of AIDS in 1997. Snook was Rich’s sister-in-law.
    The Frankford Fire Department, Stillwater Fire Department and the Blue Ridge Rescue Squad assisted at the scene, as well as diving teams from Jefferson, New Jersey State Police, Parsippany, Picatinny, Matamoras, Pa., Milford, Pa., Port Jervis, N.Y., Westfall, Pa. and Sparrowbush, N.Y.
    The Sussex County Sheriff’s Department, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, County Medical Examiner, State Police Marine Unit and the State Police Crime Scene Investigator also helped conduct the investigation.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Missing teen’s body found

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com..._15451354.shtml

    Mar. 29, 2004

    Missing teen hunter’s body found

    Oshkosh boy, friend have been missing since November

    By Jeff Bollier
    Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

    OSHKOSH — The body of one of two teen hunters missing on Lake Winnebago since November was found Sunday morning in the town of Black Wolf.

    Winnebago County Sheriff Michael Brooks said his department was called after a resident noticed what appeared to be a body on top of the ice in the lake near Nekimi Avenue and Lake Road about 11:15 a.m. Sunday and called the sheriff’s department.

    Sheriff’s deputies and Oshkosh Fire Department personnel recovered the body, dressed in camouflage, using the department’s hovercraft, and identified the body as one of the two teens missing since Nov. 12. Adam Schreiber, 16, and Jon Schultz, 15, both of Oshkosh, went duck hunting after school that day and were never heard from again.

    Brooks said the teen’s identity would not be released until today, pending notification of family members and an autopsy.

    Officers and firefighters on the hovercraft conducted a quick search of the area, but the cloudy water prohibited them from seeing anything, Brooks said.

    “The ability to see anything in the water was limited,” Brooks said. “It’s impossible to get a boat out with the ice, but we’ll continue discussing our options for resuming the search once the weather cooperates.”

    Family members at the scene declined to speak with a reporter.

    Brooks said it appeared the boy’s body was frozen in the ice.

    “There’s nothing to indicate the cause of death beyond drowning, but further medical tests will be conducted,” Brooks said.

    Brooks said the department will resume searching for the other boy, using airplanes and boats, as weather permits.

    The department called off the search Dec. 16 due to ice on the lake, although deputies briefly resumed the search in mid-January
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  6. #156
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    Default Couple Stranded On Unstable Ice While Fishing

    http://www.thechamplainchannel.com/n...22/detail.html

    Couple Stranded On Unstable Ice While Fishing

    March 29, 2004

    Police are warning people to stay off the ice after rescue crews in Champlain had to make a daring ice rescue Monday morning.

    A couple from Quebec started ice fishing in Vermont Monday morning, but they ended up in New York after being stranded on an unstable block of ice for about two hours.

    "We are feeling very well (now), but we were scared on the ice," said Theo Raymaker.

    The Raymakers wanted to get one more day of ice fishing in before the end of the season, but strong winds and rising temperatures had them floating down Lake Champlain on a piece of ice.

    "We knew that the ice was so bad that we couldn't just walk our there and walk them back in," Chief Brian Pelkey said.

    Several rescue crews were called in, including two cold-water rescue squads.

    This is the first time the Rouses Point's squad has ever had to put their training to the test, but Pelkey said they were "always ready."

    "It puts everybody at great risk," said Champlain Fire Chief Bruce Barcomb. "We have to put several people in the water to try and rescue the (others)."

    The Raymakers are glad these rescuers were properly trained.

    "We thank everybody," Raymaker said. "We were very happy to see these guys coming."

    The Clinton County Sheriff Department is investigating whether or not they can charge the Raymakers with reckless endangerment.

    "I've heard from fishermen that it's safe -- that the ice is thicker," said Sheriff Dave Favro. "With upcoming winds and ice moving right now it's not safe anywhere out there."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  7. #157
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    Default Two snowmobilersgo through the ice

    http://www.grandmarais-mn.com/placed...tory_id=168723

    Two snowmobilers go through ice
    Wisconsin man drowns in Saganaga

    Cook County News-Herald

    March 25th, 2004
    Ann Possis/Staff writer

    Grand Marais, MN -- Two snowmobilers went through the ice in the narrows on Saganaga Lake at the end of the Gunflint Trail Tuesday evening around 8:30 p.m.

    According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, Jared Peter Lystig, 22, of Hillsdale, Wis. was able to jump from his snowmobile and pull himself to safety onto the ice as he watched his friend, Lane Larry Paulson, 38, of Almena, Wis. hit open water and begin to sink.

    Emergency units from the Cook County area were unable to locate Paulson Tuesday night after conducting an extensive search. Paulson’s body was recovered around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

    According to Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Falk, there’s a current that flows north in the narrows, and people usually use a winter portage (trail) instead.

    “They got to the point, and took a left instead of a right, which brought them to the narrows,” Falk said. “They ended up going through the narrows, where there’s open water.”

    Falk said that darkness, open water, and unsafe ice conditions made the rescue effort difficult Tuesday night.

    “We didn’t want to risk the safety of rescuers when we were certain he [Paulson] didn’t make it out of the water.” He said that rescuers on the scene were sure Paulson didn’t make it based on what they saw: A floating helmet, open water and only one set of tracks leading from the scene of the accident. Lystig was treated in the ambulance and released.

    Falk warns snowmobilers and others venturing onto the ice this spring to be very careful.

    “This is the time of year where ice starts to become unpredictable — now it’s very susceptible with the extremes of temperatures, so use extra caution,” he said. “My suggestion if people go on the ice is to bring a PFD [personal flotation device] with them — you just never know.”
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

  8. #158
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    Default 2 kids pulled from ice

    2 kids pulled from ice in Milford

    Meggan Clark,
    Register Staff

    02/21/2004

    Milford firefighters Jack Geary, left, and Todd Ricci rescue a youngster who fell through ice. Photos courtesy of Milford Fire Department
    MILFORD — Two 14-year-old boys were rescued from the icy waters of the reservoir behind Jonathan Law High School Friday, after they fell through the ice, fire officials said.

    Tragedy was averted because a passer-by heard the boys’ screams for help, and fire crews responded to the scene. Fire Capt. Richard Mohr said the boys would not have been able to get out of the icy water without help.

    Mohr estimated the boys had been in the water for 10 to 15 minutes. Hypothermia, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the body temperature lowers, is more likely to occur if a body is submerged in cold water, according to the Web site for the National Center for Environmental Health.

    "Within an hour these kids would have been in a lot of trouble," Mohr said.

    "They were getting too cold," he said. "This would have just spiraled worse and worse. They would have eventually fallen unconscious, they would have gone under and they would have drowned."

    The pair, who were not identified, were taken to Milford Hospital for treatment. Mohr said the boys could not feel their legs when they were pulled from the water, but did not appear to have suffered serious injuries.

    One of the boys had on inline skates and the other had a skateboard when they were found, Mohr said.

    Firefighters responded to the call of a passer-by at about 5:10 p.m. after people attending an evening event at the Lansdale Avenue high school heard the boys’ screams, Mohr said.

    As crews approached the water, Mohr said, firefighters could hear the boys screaming for help, saying they were freezing.

    The boys had tried to get out of the water, but were impeded by the cold and the breaking ice, Mohr said.

    The dramatic ice rescue was something the Fire Department had been training for only the day before in drills Mohr runs regularly so crew are prepared for such a scenario.

    By the time they arrived on the scene Friday, Mohr said, the firefighters already had on the yellow rubber protective suits they wear in icy water. They snapped on their safety harnesses as they were jogging to the reservoir, which was surrounded by brush.

    Firefighters Todd Ricci, Jack Geary and Scott Tummins slid out over the ice on their stomachs on specially designed sleds that distribute weight over a broad area to keep from cracking the ice. They attached flotation devices to the two victims, and two of the firefighters entered the water to load them onto the weight-bearing sleds, which then were towed back to shore by firefighters on the banks.

    The boys were then put in cocoon-like bags to keep them warm and taken to the hospital by ambulance. From the time the Fire Department arrived on the scene, the rescue took about eight minutes.

    "I’m very pleased," Mohr said. "The guys were outstanding, and the guys are pleased because it went so well."

    Recently, the Fire Department’s constant training also paid off when crews safely rescued a large swan that had become stuck in ice on Milford Harbor.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Car found in river; man still missing

    http://www.sturgisjournal.com/print....ubSectionID=65

    Wednesday, March 03, 2004

    Car found in river; TR man still missing

    By Corky Emrick
    Sturgis Journal

    Wednesday, March 03, 2004

    THREE RIVERS — Local authorities continued the search for a 31-year-old Three Rivers man Tuesday.

    Michigan State Police troopers were called to the

    St. Joseph River after reports of a man heard yelling for help.

    Late Tuesday afternoon, divers from the Michigan State Police Underwater Recovery Unit located the vehicle about 1,000 yards from the public access site on South River Road in about six feet of water. The driver side door was open and the vehicle was upright.

    Divers also recovered the man’s coat.

    The vehicle was located by an area pilot of an ultra-lite after 4 p.m.

    Police determined the man in a vehicle had entered the river from the public access on South River Road near Noah Lake Road.

    Officers located vehicle tracks leading from the public access to the spot where his car either broke through the ice or was driven into the water.

    Troopers are treating the investigation as a possible suicide.

    The search was hampered Tuesday morning by darkness and thin ice.

    Early Tuesday morning, a helicopter from the Michigan State Police Aviation Unit using thermal imaging was unable to locate the victim. After daybreak, West Michigan AirCare searched from the air for any sign of the vehicle,while an airboat, operated by Dan Roberts of Three Rivers, searched the river.

    About noon Tuesday, the Michigan State Police Underwater Recovery Unit took over the search.

    The state police boat is equipped with side scanning sonar, which is capable of locating objects deep underwater.

    State police and members of the count’s dive rescue will continue the search this morning.

    Police were hampered Tuesday by branches and other debris in the water, making it hard for their sonar to get accurate readings

    Assisting the state police were the St. Joseph County Dive Rescue Team, Lockport-Fabius-Park Township Fire Department, Three Rivers Police Department, St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department, Three Rivers Fire Department, Bakers Towing and Roberts.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Specialty Boats Used in Ice Rescue Practice

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...sion_tomorrow/

    ICE RESCUE PRACTICED
    Airboat and Hovercraft Used In Ice Rescue Practice

    3/28/2004

    Donna Goodison

    Southborough, MA --- Southborough firefighters practiced ice maneuvers and rescue techniques on the Sudbury Reservoir on March 15 with members of the State Police marine unit. The public-safety officials used Southborough's hovercraft and the State Police airboat. Both can move from ice to water. It is illegal for residents to swim or ice skate on the reservoir, which is managed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Water Supply Protection and serves as Greater Boston's reserve drinking supply
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Final thin ice warning

    http://www.kstp.com/article/view/134568/

    State officials issue final thin ice warning

    3-29-2004

    ST. PAUL, MN - The warmer weather has quickly melted the ice on Minnesota lakes. Officials say any remaining ice is too thin to walk on.
    The number of ice fatalities in Minnesota this season was well below average. Tim Smalley with the Department of Natural Resources says two people have died after falling through the ice.

    Smalley says generally, Minnesota would have seven to ten fatalities per winter with people falling through the ice.

    One man died in late 2003 near Detroit Lakes after trying to rescue a dog on thin ice. Earlier this month a snowmobiler fell through ice in New Brighton.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Dramatic Ice Rescue

    Dramatic Ice Rescue

    Rouses Point, New York - March 29, 2004

    Two people had to be rescued from the ice this morning after the piece they were standing on broke off.

    Several agencies, including the fire department, New York State Police, the Coast Guard were alerted. Two helicopters were also involved in the rescue.

    The Rouses Point Fire Department was able to get a flat bottom boat to the two people and then the department's hovercraft was able to bring them to shore.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default 2 Rescued from Ice Floe

    http://www.pressrepublican.com/cgi-b...0616164,65779,

    Ice rescue

    By SUZANNE MOORE
    Staff Writer

    CHAMPLAIN -- A Point au Fer resident happened to spot an elderly couple stranded on a huge ice floe on King's Bay here Monday morning, one fast breaking up and drifting northward.

    "They were very lucky," said Clinton County Sheriff David Favro, whose department was part of the coordinated effort that rescued the two in under 45 minutes.

    "The true danger was not the cold water," he said. "It was the large pieces of ice crashing against each other that would crush somebody in seconds."

    STRANDED AND DRIFTING

    Annett Ranymakers, 64, and her husband, Theodore, 65, of St. Sebastian, Quebec, were ice fishing off Isle LaMotte, Vt., when a section of ice at least the size of a football field broke off from shore and began drifting northward.

    They'd been stranded about an hour, Favro said, when the 911 call came in.

    "We could see them very clearly," said Champlain Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bruce Barcomb, who rushed to set up rescue operations on Point au Fer, having called for help from Rouses Point's Cold Water Rescue Team on his way.

    He'd also ordered his own department's small aluminum rowboat brought down.

    "(But) we were really short a hovercraft or real solid boat," Barcomb said.

    So Cumberland Head's Cold Water Rescue Team and its hovercraft were called in, too.

    UNDER PRESSURE

    With a stiff wind pushing the giant floe constantly northward and whitecaps eating away at it, time was of the essence.

    "We kept moving our resources downstream, downstream, downstream," Barcomb said.

    Finally, the chief said, "Rouses Point took the initiative."

    The four divers hauled the rowboat out into the bay.

    "Once we hit the edge of the ice, we kept falling through," training coordinator Jason Juneau described the 15-minute trip.

    "They reached the people, calmed them down," Barcomb said.

    "They were glad we finally got there," said team member and Fire Chief Brian Pelkey. "The water was starting to come up a little bit" on the ice.

    "There wasn't a whole lot of time left," was Barcomb's assessment.

    Once the Ranymakers were in the boat, Juneau towed it toward shore.

    Though the team has practiced many times, this was its first real rescue, and Juneau found the swim a tough one.

    "You got big ice chunks in front of you, had to move them out of the way," he said, standing on shore with his red wet suit peeled down around his hips.

    HOVERCRAFT HELPED

    Cumberland Head's hovercraft saved Rouses Point part of the trip back, roaring across the ice to help transfer the Ranymakers, who suffered no ills from their sustained outing and who were given a ride back to their vehicle, parked in Vermont.

    Barcomb praised all the departments that made the rescue a success, including the Coast Guard.

    Calling in Cumberland Head was no slight to Rouses Point's Cold Water Team, he emphasized.

    "Rouses Point is every bit as professional and equipped as Cumberland Head is. But their hovercraft isn't available" right now.

    The incident highlights the need in the Northern Tier for the rapid-deployment craft that Rouses Point is saving for, which will cost about $3,000.

    "It's ideal for what we just did," Juneau said. "It slides easier."

    Champlain will help raise that money, Barcomb said.

    "Bottom line is (Cumberland Head) is very valuable, but they are some distance away."

    PUT LIVES IN DANGER

    Had the Ranymakers' fishing trip not begun across Lake Champlain, said the sheriff, the couple would probably be facing charges of reckless endangerment.

    "Going out on this ice, it would have been easy for a rescue worker to be trapped and crushed," he said.

    "I have conferred with the (district attorney), and he is willing to prosecute in situations like this."

    Barcomb also stressed the danger.

    "To go out on the ice this time of year jeopardizes many lives and puts tons of resources and innocent lives at stake.

    "It's an irresponsible act."
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default CG Airboat Makes Spring breakup easier for island people

    http://www.sooeveningnews.com/articl...ews/news14.txt

    Coast Guard Airboat Makes Spring Breakup Easier for Island People

    03/30/04
    By JACK STOREY/The Evening News

    EASTERN UPPER PENINSULA, WI -- For residents of two area islands, the enforced isolation of spring breakup has already proven less difficult than last year's.

    Regular ferry service to Mackinac Island resumed last Thursday after the early disappearance of fast ice between the island and St. Ignace.

    At Arnold Transit on Mackinac Island, a spokesman said the line's early ferry schedule includes three daily crossings to St. Ignace, Monday through Saturday. The ferry does not yet operate on Sundays.

    The Arnold ferry started about a week earlier than last year, when the ferry line was forced to some of the harbor icebreaking itself to open service. This spring the bulk of the ice was removed from the passage by strong northerly winds that swept across the region two weeks ago.

    At Neebish Island, the ferry has been running irregularly with the "schedule" set by Mother Nature and a handful of downbound cargo vessels that pull broken ice from the jumbled mass of broken ice flowing south through the West Neebish Channel.

    Contacted late Monday morning, Captain Mary Schallip of the Neebish Islander II said the ferry did not run on Sunday and might not run Monday, either.

    "A lot of boats are coming down today. Each one takes some ice (down) with it and they bring some ice with them," Schallip said on Monday.

    Saying at least a dozen local callers had asked that day if the ferry was running, Schallip said most Neebish Islanders seem content to stay home for now.

    "Everybody is pretty much staying put. We haven't even been a week yet," she said of the spring isolation. "Nobody seems to be antsy, like they were last January," she added.

    Schallip noted that Neebish Islanders come to expect a week or ten days of isolation in the spring, when ice either breaks up of its own accord or is broken out by icebreakers.

    She said the talk on the island earlier in the breakup process ran to two or three weeks of isolation. "We're only on day six," she said.

    The isolation on Neebish has not been total, though. What ferry crossings have been made have come at irregular intervals. She said the ferry can cross when the occasional open "pool" develops in the solid channel of broken ice.

    The Neebish Islander II made three round trips on Saturday before the ice returned to a solid field of broken chunks. The ferry has run when it could since last Wednesday, when the ice trail connecting the island and mainland was broken out for the shipping season.

    "We try to accommodate people when we can," she said, explaining that few islanders have risked extended mainland trips while the ice continues to jam the passage.

    She said the jumbled ice passing slowly through the West Neebish is rapidly "candling," a sure sign that it is softening prior to the seasonal meltdown.

    "There's still some foot-, foot-and-a-half thick 'tombstones' out there," she said, referring to large broken shards of ice floating upright in the shore-to-shore ice jam.

    "We'll wake up one of these mornings and the ice will be gone," she said, steadfastly refusing to say what day that will be.

    In the meantime, she said Coast Guard officials have made an emergency evacuation airboat suitable for ice-filled crossings available to islander in a medical emergency. Schallip said two or three days of heavy fog last week made evacuation by Coast Guard helicopter impractical.

    To date, the emergency airboat has not been needed.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Coast Guard to demonstrate ice rescue vessel

    http://www.sooeveningnews.com/articl...ews/news10.txt

    Coast Guard to demonstrate ice rescue vessel

    03/31/04
    By JACK STOREY/The Evening News

    BARBEAU, MI -- A borrowed ice rescue airboat and crew demonstrated the specialty vessel's capabilities in the broken ice of the West Neebish Channel at mid-morning today, according to Group Sault.

    Powered by a large fan-type propeller, the 23-foot rescue airboat is capable safely negotiating either open water, ice-filled channels like the West Neebish or a combination of both, according to Coast Guard sources.

    Built of Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass, the large airboat has an enclosed house for two crewmen and can move through water at about 25 knots, or 29 mph, according to Ltjg Sam Kasten.

    Borrowed from the St. Clair Shores Coast Guard Station, along with a crew of two to demonstrate it, the boat is of a type the Coast Guard is considering for enhanced ice rescue work. Kasten said the airboat's top speed in broken ice is lower.

    The borrowed airboat and crew were brought temporarily to Base Sault to serve as an emergency back-up for evacuation of isolated island people in medical emergencies. The Coast Guard normally makes its Traverse City-based helicopters available for medical evacuation if necessary.

    Three consecutive days of heavy fog at the start of the shipping season last week raised local worries among isolated Neebish Island residents.

    In response, Capt. Scott Gordon, Group Sault commander, arranged for the loan of the airboat to stand by while Neebish and a number of islands in the area are isolated during spring break-up.

    The loan gives local small boat crews an opportunity to test the craft on St. Mary's River ice.

    The rescue craft operates on the same principle as the shallow draft "swamp buggies" used to navigate large swamps like the Everglades. Its reinforced hull is strengthened to work in ice, however.

    Kasten said the airboat, is one of several possibilities the Coast Guard is considering for use in ice rescue operations. Currently, surface ice rescues are limited in range by their use of flotation devices for walking on thin ice or use of small conventional aluminum boats that do not perform well in broken ice conditions.

    The Coast Guard has recently purchased a number of small, high-speed patrol and rescue-type vessels in the 20-30 foot range for use in protected waters during the warm season. The airboat option, if ultimately purchased, would significantly increase range and speed in broken ice rescue situations.

    Currently, helicopters are the primary rescue craft used for ice rescue.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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