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Two extraordinary U.S. Coast Guard rescues occur in one day

Coast Guard leads the rescue of 20 ice fishermen trapped on Lake Erie. Hours later, the service rescues 33 from a vessel sinking off Haiti's coast.
Lake erie rescue coast guard saves 20 2000x1135
January 25, 2024

In the Great Lakes on the morning of January 22, 2024, the Coast Guard received a report of people stranded on an ice floe located half a mile from shore on Lake Erie near Catawba Island State Park, Ohio.

Initial reports to Coast Guard Sector Detroit said the people were unaware they were drifting on the ice floe. The sector immediately launched a helicopter and two airboats to the scene.

Coast Guard Station Marblehead and Put-in-Bay Fire Department joined the rescue with 20 people safely brought ashore. Local media later described the stranded group as ice fishermen who ventured onto the ice floe. A crack on the ice grew larger as strong winds pushed the floe, eventually turning the crack into a body of water that left the fisherman trapped.

We are committed to public safety and want to remind everyone the importance of exercising caution around ice formations. Ice floes are unpredictable and can quickly become hazardous, particularly in windy conditions or strong currents.
- LT. Adeeb Ahmad, Sector Detroit Public Affairs Officer.

Later the same day, yet another incredible rescue took place, this time by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable who rescued 33 people from a vessel sinking in heavy seas off the Haiti coast.

Coast guard rescues haiti 33 dependable cutter

“Dependable’s crew did a great job of rapidly responding to the dangerous situation,” said LT. j.g. Chelsea Chamberlain, a Coast Guard District Seven enforcement officer. “The people were actively bailing out water in heavy seas and if our crew hadn’t arrived when they did, the vessel would have likely succumbed to the sea.”

All 33 people who were rescued were brought aboard the Dependable and transferred to Haitian authorities in good health.

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