county airboat 2016

county airboat 2016Two fishermen  lost about a mile offshore from Tuscola County’s Vanderbilt Park were rescued by deputies from the county Tuesday.

Tuscola County Sheriff Glen Skrent said a 911 call was received at about 6:30 p.m. from the two lost fishermen.

The duo — a 63-year-old man from Essexville and a 37-year-old male from Bay City — had walked about a mile offshore from Vanderbilt Park in Tuscola County’s Wisner Township.

Skies darkened, and fog rolled in, causing them to lose site of the shore. Skrent said they didn’t have a compass or any other means to find the shore so dialed 911.

Two deputies responded, using an airboat shared by Tuscola and Huron counties.

They found the fishermen, who were still about a mile out, just before 9 p.m..  They were uninjured. The Coast Guard had been called to the area and arrived just as the fishermen were found.

“Leaving shore without a means of direction finding is a recipe for disaster,” Skrent said in a release. “Any smartphone has the capability of a compass app, however, it should not be relied upon as smartphones lose battery strength quickly in the cold.”

Skrent said a “good, old-fashioned compass should be taken anytime you ice fish on Saginaw Bay.”

Law enforcement from Huron and Tuscola counties unveiled almost a year ago the boat used Tuesday, announcing it would make ice rescues in Saginaw Bay and the surrounding area much easier.

To see a video The Advertiser produced from the unveiling of the boat, click on the video below: