A dramatic rescue unfolded Friday night as six different first response teams worked together to save two men trapped on an island of ice, 50 yards out on Lake Superior.
"We were able to bring them in and I believe they were no worse for the wear other than being pretty cold," said Ben Wilder, a Marquette Firefighter on the scene.
The men walked out onto the chunk of snow on an ice bridge. Only minutes after they crossed, waves washed it away, leaving them stranded.
"There was a lot of ice debris in the water," Wilder said. "Wave conditions were pretty, pretty rough...probably 10-foot waves coming in series of threes."
That's when others who were with them called for help. Jacob Marshall of the US Coast Guard, who was on the scene, said the clock was ticking because the "ice berg" the men were on was "breaking down."
"It was actually getting smaller and smaller as the waves were crashing into it. One of the concerns was that the ice was going to break all the way down, and the people were going to fall into the water," said Marshall.
Firefighters wore dry suits to brave the 30 degree, icy cold waters.
The two men suffered slight hypothermia from the swim back to shore with rescuers, but all in all, Marquetteâ??s finest say everything went smoothly.
"Mission was accomplished, everyone was safe, everyone came out of the water, and it was a good job all around," Marshall insisted.
The US Coast Guard, Marquette Fire Department, Medi-Ride 156, Marquette Police and County Sheriff's Departments all credit the successful rescue to each other.