Perils of Being on the Ice in Michigan
Sure it's winter, and yes the ice on most lakes was frozen, but watch out!
This is the time of year when the number of calls to 911 about someone falling through the ice increases. Even though it is still winter, the past few warm days cause the ice on lakes to be compromised.
Many area lakes have already started swallowing up snowmobiles, and ice shanties. This is when extra care is necessary for those who "play on the ice" here in Michigan. It might look fine, but your best bet is to not trust the ice.
Authorities throughout Michigan are warning everyone to use extreme caution while on the icy lakes. You could stumble upon an unstable area, and boom, you're in the water. Last month, six snowmobiles feel through the ice in a two week period.
MLive has published several articles about ice-related incidents in Michigan. In the Cadillac area, two people and a dog were rescued after an attempt to rescue the dog resulted in them joining the dog in the icy waters. In Portage Lake, two people were rescued after falling through the ice, and a man, who was not so lucky, lost his life after falling through the ice in Lenawee County.
At Higgins Lake we always heard the stories of snowmobiles that had gone down in the water, plus stories about the team of horses, numerous ice shanties, and even a Model-T that had all broken through the ice throughout the years.
I saw an ice rescue several years ago. A dog had fallen through the ice, and it was struggling to get out. It was a horrible thing to watch. The ice from the shore to the dog was all broken up, so walking on it was not an option. Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth, our Sheriff at the time, managed to grab a row boat and made his way out in the lake, chopping the ice as he went out to the struggling dog. The Sheriff managed to grab the pup by the collar and drag the exhausted animal into the boat.
Ice covered lakes are nothing to fool around with, so make sure you are aware of the conditions before heading out.