Driver falls through ice, rescued by passerby

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 29, 2018

 A three-wheel vehicle is submerged in Lake St. Clair after falling through the ice Jan. 28. The vehicle operator was rescued.

A three-wheel vehicle is submerged in Lake St. Clair after falling through the ice Jan. 28. The vehicle operator was rescued.

Photo provided by U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist 2nd Class Michael Roberts

The driver of a three-wheeler was rescued by good Samaritans after his vehicle fell through the ice of Lake St. Clair.

 

The St. Clair Shores Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard Station in St. Clair Shores and the Macomb County Sheriff’s Marine Division responded to a call for help around 2:40 p.m. Jan. 28. The individual had gone through the ice about 100 yards offshore of the east end of Ardmore Park, said Fire Marshal M. Bodnar of the St. Clair Shores Fire Department.

 

“It looks like the victim was removed from the water by an ice fisherman nearby,” Bodnar said the day after the incident.

 

The operator received treatment and was cleared by emergency personnel, according to Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Steven Ruh, officer in charge at the U.S. Coast Guard Jan. 29.

 

He said that the operator is responsible for salvaging the vehicle from the lake, but, “from our perspective, there was no pollution.”

 

Although it is still winter, recent warm-ups have weakened the ice, Ruh said.

 

“It’s not as strong as it was a few weeks ago during the really frigid temperatures,” he said.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard has helped with about five local ice rescues since the start of December, he said. Fortunately, he said, there have been no injuries or deaths associated with the ice rescues this winter. All-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and now a three-wheeler have all gone through the ice.

 

“(As a) general rule, no ice is safe ice because it’s unpredictable,” Ruh said. “People recreating on the ice should be more cautious.”

 

He said that as temperatures drop once again, areas of ice will re-freeze, but will be more porous and weaker than it was in early January. Those venturing out on the ice should not go alone. They should let someone know where they are going and when they plan to return, and should carry ice awls or two screwdrivers to assist in climbing out of the water if they have an accident.