“It looked like a gunshot.” Last Saturday, January 8, 34 people who came to fish in Green Day, a coastal town on Lake Michigan in the State of Wisconsin, had a very bad surprise: the ice broke off the shore and the fishermen were stuck for an hour and a half.
A “deafening” crackle. Around 10 a.m., these fishing enthusiasts were surprised by a sound “similar to a gunshot”, relates a daily article West France. In question: “a huge piece of ice” had just come off the shore. About thirty people then met trapped adrift on Lake Michigan.
“It sounded like a gunshot. We looked around us, to see where it could come from, and there, we heard people shouting: ‘We’re getting loose!'”, confides Shane Nelson in the columns of the National Post.
The piece of ice cracked as it moved
Testimony of a member of the American authorities
The emergency services were quickly alerted and it took a good hour and a half to rescue the fishermen. An operation under pressure since “the piece of ice cracked as it moved, with the water hitting him from all sides,” said one of the authorities.
At the end of the mission carried out by the office of the sheriff, firefighters and coast guard, equipped with two airboats, no injuries were recorded. In total, the block of ice would have drifted 1.2 kilometers, reports the news site Slate.
How did this huge chunk come off the shore? The ice could have been “destabilized” by a barge, “which had crossed the bay”, or by a change in current. Lt. John Bain of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office also recalled the importance of security measures.
Since ice fishing presents certain dangers, he recommends keeping a phone on you at all times”to contact the emergency services in case of trouble“.