Multiple Ice Rescues in Southern Door County

There were 2 simultaneous ice rescues in the Little Sturgeon area Saturday afternoon. First, a call was made for 3 ice fishermen stranded on a floating ice slab off of Riley’s Point. Nasewaupee Fire Chief Jacob Schartner reports assistance from his department was requested by the US Coast Guard who were out on their air boat. When his department arrived to their Wood Lane command post, another ice rescue had begun near the end of Big Rock Place in the Town of Gardner. In that area, 11 fishermen were on a different floating slab a quarter-mile off of shore. By that time, the Coast Guard air boat had already picked up the initial 3 fishermen near Riley’s Point. Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Chief Curt Vandertie had his department set up a command post at the north end of Big Rock Place.
The Coast Guard air boat picked up the initial 3 fishermen, and then 6 of the 11 other fisherman. The Nasewaupee air boat brought back 4 more fishermen from that group, and the Coast Guard air boat brought back the final fisherman. None of the fishermen or rescuers ended up in the water, and all of them were safely returned to the shore near Wood Lane. A Coast Guard helicopter then assisted by checking the entire area for other potentially stranded fishermen and they found none. There was excellent cooperation between the fire rescue departments of Nasewaupee, the Brussles-Union-Gardner Fire Department, Door County EMS, Gardner EMRs, the Door County Sheriff’s Office, the US Coast Guard, the DNR, and Door County Emergency Management, all coordinated through the Door County 911 Communication Center.
All responders were able to clear the area by just after 6PM. BUG Fire Chief Vandertie says with significant open water, the poor shore ice with multiple cracks, and the warmer forecast, everyone is strongly advised to stay off the ice.

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