The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a Canadian man from the ice on Thursday in Mitchell’s Bay on Lake St. Clair.
U.S. Coast Guard officials say shortly after 6 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard 9th District Command Center were contacted by crews at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, requesting assistance in the search and rescue of a man on the ice on Lake St. Clair.
Officials in Trenton reported they had located the man’s position from a cell phone ping.
The Ontario Provincial Police, Chatham-Kent Police and Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services had responded by land, but the Royal Canadian Air Force was unable to respond due to weather, U.S. Coast Guard officials say.
A crew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit was sent to respond to the situation.
The crew arrived on scene, roughly 1.5 miles from shore, and hoisted the man from the ice.
“The crew reported poor visibility with fog down to the surface,” U.S. Coast Guard officials stated in a press release.
“They were only able to see the man using night vision goggles and could barely see the light from his cell phone. The crew reported that the man was hypothermic, discovering he had been out on the ice since around 6 a.m.
The crew said the man was wet from being rained on and he was also wading through 3-inches of water on the ice due to the warm temperatures, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.
The man said he was lost as the the fog prevented him from seeing shore.
He was taken back to Air Station Detroit, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base due to low fuel in the helicopter and transferred to an awaiting ambulance.
The man was taken to McLaren Macomb Hospital where U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel coordinated his return to Canada.
“The Coast Guard reminds outdoorsman of the dangers of heading out without communication equipment, navigation equipment, and no float or ice plan,” U.S. Coast Guard officials stated.