USCG Rescues Man Trying to Walk Across Frozen Lake St. Clair

Mike Schuler
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March 6, 2015

The man seen walking on frozen Lake St. Clair from the window of the USCGC Neah Bay. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

It’s so cold in the midwest that the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday rescued (or stopped) a man from walking across frozen Lake St. Clair from Detroit to Toronto.

The Coast Guard reports that at about 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, a lookout aboard the 140-foot icebreaking tug USCGC Neah Bay spotted the making walking in the middle of the frozen lake, about one and half miles from Seaway Island.

The man, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen, was taken aboard the cutter where he was treated for symptoms of hypothermia and questioned about his journey. The man told his rescuers that he was walking to Toronto from Detroit. The Coast Guard noted that the man was not wearing any flotation gear and had no form of communication.

For reference, Lake St. Clair is approximately 24 miles across and Toronto is another 200 or so miles.

Here’s some video showing a Coast Guard rescue team approaching the man:

The crew transported the man back to shore in Algonac, Michigan, where they were met by emergency medical services.

The USCG says the rescue was the first rescue of a person conducted by an ice-rescue team deployed from a Great Lakes cutter in more than 4 years.

“Most of us joined the Coast Guard to protect life,” said Lt. Joshua Zike, commanding officer of the Neah Bay. “Our primary mission during the winter months is breaking ice to keep commercial traffic moving, but preserving life will always come first.”

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