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  1. #161
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    Jul 2001

    Default Final thin ice warning


    State officials issue final thin ice warning


    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

  2. #162
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    Jul 2001

    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

  3. #163
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    Jul 2001

    Default 2 Rescued from Ice Floe


    Ice rescue

    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."


    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.


    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.


    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."


    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

  4. #164
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Default CG Airboat Makes Spring breakup easier for island people


    Coast Guard Airboat Makes Spring Breakup Easier for Island People

    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

  5. #165
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    Default Coast Guard to demonstrate ice rescue vessel


    Coast Guard to demonstrate ice rescue vessel

    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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