Coast Guard rescues 5 fishermen in Monroe County

Mark Hicks

The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued five fisherman who were stranded Friday evening on icy waters near Monroe County, officials reported.

Crews were called to Brest Bay near Monroe’s William C. Sterling State Park after authorities received two calls about flashing lights on the ice there, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Yaw, a public affairs specialist with the Ninth Coast Guard District.

Through a helicopter’s aerial review, the Coast Guard learned the group had been on three shanties atop an ice shelf that broke free, Yaw said.

All five were pulled to safety within hours. A helicopter was expected to return tonight “to do a search to make sure no one else is on the ice,” Yaw said.

The condition of the fishermen, who were not submerged in water, was not immediately available.

The rescue came the same week that officials searched for an ATV rider who vanished on Lake Erie, WXYZ-TV reported.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit workers also responded to two cases where snowmobiles went through the ice, according to its Facebook page.

“With sports like ice fishing or snowmobiling, it is important to remember that it just takes one crack or thin part of the ice to place yourself at risk,” the agency warned. “You can’t always tell the strength of ice by its look, thickness, the temperature or whether it is covered with snow.”