ERIE COUNTY SHERIFF AIR-1 HELICOPTER - ICE RESCUE
Erie Co. Sheriff Aviation Unit Rescues Six Ice Fisherman Stranded On Lake Erie Ice
Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard reports that, at approximately 1:05 p.m. (14 JAN 2018), the Town of Evans dispatch center received several calls for people stranded on Lake Erie due to an ice shift. Evans Police arrived on scene and determined that six (6) people were stranded on the ice separated from the shore by open water approximately 150 yards from the Sturgeon Point Marina. Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Co., North Evans Volunteer Fire Co., and Lake Erie Beach Volunteer Fire Co., along with American Medical Response (AMR) emergency medical services, responded to the scene to commence rescue efforts. Due to the separation in the ice, spanning miles along the shoreline, rescue crews were initially unable to reach the stranded individuals; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit was requested. Air-1 responded to the scene with aircrew members Kevin CAFFERY (Pilot) and Ryan ROGERS (Tactical Flight Officer). Air-1 commenced rescue efforts and successfully recovered all stranded individuals from the ice by making three (3) separate transports to evacuate the subjects to safety and to awaiting rescue personnel on shore. The subjects rescued were reportedly ice fishing. The fishermen reported to police that they had been out on the ice since approximately 9:00 a.m. The individuals reportedly sustained no injuries. Please be aware that wind and water currents will cause shifts and separations in the ice on Lake Erie resulting in dangerous conditions for any persons that may be out on the lake. The Sheriff’s Office would like to issue a reminder of the importance of ice fisherman having reliable communication, distress signaling, and emergency gear. Anyone who to participates in ice fishing or other activities on frozen bodies of water are urged to visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7733.html to learn more about ice safety.