Two fishermen were rescued from Saginaw Bay early Tuesday morning – the second such rescue in about three weeks.
According to the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department, a 21-year-old male from Clarkston and a 20-year-old from Akron Township had each driven a snowmobile about two miles from the shore.
They left from a location near Thomas Road in Akron Township – one at about noon Monday, and the second at about 4 p.m. (See interactive map of general location below)
Around 1:30 a.m., the two were driving their snowmobiles when one went through the ice. The driver of that snowmobile was able to climb to safety.
The driver of the second snowmobile was able to stop before getting into dangerous territory, but could not reach the man who had crawled to safety and was stranded.
The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene with an airboat and four officers. Tuscola County Sheriff’s Department also was on scene along with ACW Ambulance.
They rescued the stranded man and the other was able to drive his snowmobile to shore.
Tuscola County Sheriff Glen Skrent said both had been drinking alcohol. The 20-year-old received a ticket for underage drinking.
It was the second time since Jan. 17 that fishermen had to be rescued by law enforcement in Saginaw Bay.
In a Jan. 17 incident, two fishermen had walked about a mile offshore and became lost when fog became too think and neither had a compass.
“This is the type of winter where it is apparent that there is no safe ice on Saginaw Bay,” said Skrent. “The bay is not locked in by ice this year and very susceptible to winds opening up the ice. Warmer than normal temperatures and run offs from recent rains also can undercut the ice.”
Skrent urged anyone considering venturing offshore to “use common sense.”
Andrew Dietderich is editor of The Advertiser and can be reached at [email protected]