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VIDEO: Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay rescues man walking in middle of Lake St. Clair

March 5, 2015

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The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, home-ported in Cleveland, rescued a 25-year-old man attempting to walk across Lake St. Clair, March 5, 2015.

The crew  transported the man, a U.S. citizen who was hypothermic, back to shore in Algonac, Mich., where they were met by emergency medical services.

U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Donald Steffenson

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued a man attempting to walk across Lake St. Clair Thursday morning and transported him to Algonac, Michigan.

The man rescued is a 25-year-old American citizen, who stated he was attempting to walk from Detroit to Toronto.

At about 9:30 a.m., the lookout assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug home-ported in Cleveland, spotted a man walking in the middle of frozen Lake St. Clair, about one and a half miles from Seaway Island. The ice-rescue team aboard the cutter deployed on foot to check on the man. Upon reaching the man, the rescue team questioned the individual, treated the man for symptoms of hypothermia, and assisted him aboard the cutter.

The man was taken to the municipal pier in Algonac, where he was met by emergency medical service personnel and transferred to their care.

"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."

The man was not dressed appropriately for the conditions out on the lake, was not wearing any flotation gear and had no form of communication.

This rescue conducted by the crew of the Neah Bay is the first rescue of a person conducted by an ice-rescue team deployed from a Great Lakes cutter in more than 4 years.

The cutter arrived at the docks in Algonac at 12:40 p.m. Media interested in conducting interviews with the crew of the Neah Bay in Algonac, should call the Coast Guard 9th District public affairs at 216-902-6020 to coordinate.

The Coast Guard encourages everyone who goes out on the ice to remember the acronym I.C.E.

Information - Know the weather and ice conditions, know and tell a trusted person on shore where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.Clothing - Wear the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life jacket.Equipment - Carry the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, which will help you pull yourself out of the ice if you fall through. They are much more effective than bare hands. Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.