(PresidentialWire.com)- Last Saturday, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin reported that twenty-seven people had to be rescued from the ice along the east shore of the Bay of Green Bay.
Around 10:15 am Saturday, the Brown County Communications Center received a report of a large chunk of ice breaking off from the shoreline off the shore of Point Comfort stranding about forty people. The Sheriff’s Office, New Franken and Green Bay Fire Departments, DNR, and the Coast Guard all responded to the scene.
Airboats deployed from the Sheriff’s Office and the Coast Guard were able to rescue the stranded people eight passengers at a time. By noon everyone was rescued and no injuries were reported.
During the rescue operation, the ice had floated three-quarters of a mile from shore. According to law enforcement, the chunk of ice remained fairly stable throughout the operation but its condition was deteriorating rapidly, breaking apart as it moved while waves pounded at the edge of it.
By the time the rescue was complete, the floating ice had drifted about a mile from shore.
According to Lt. John Bain of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the twenty-seven people who were rescued had gotten stuck on the piece of ice that broke away and drifted out into the water.
On Friday, officials had warned that ice conditions along the east shore had weakened and advised people to avoid recreational use of the ice in the area. Saturday morning, there were reports that a barge may have moved through the area which further disrupted the ice. That, coupled with the naturally-occurring current and wind conditions helped contribute to the cause of the breakup of ice.
Most of the people stranded on Saturday were ice fishing at the time of the incident. According to one of the people rescued, the ice chunk breaking off sounded like a gunshot. He and his fellow ice fisherman came out of their shanty only to discover that they were floating away from the shore.