On Tuesday, the Coast Guard and Marquette Fire Department braved the icy waters of Lake Superior as part of their ice rescue training. It??s a situation rescuers pray never becomes a reality.
This annual training is vital for Marquette??s firefighters and the Coast Guard to sharpen skills that could potentially save a life that's on thin ice.
"It??s important to make sure that we are equipped and our training is up to par," says Jacob Marshall of the U.S. Coast Guard, "in case we actually have to go and perform an actual rescue."
All of the first responders jumped right in, taking turns rescuing the victim. However, the main focus was getting firefighters trained on the Coast Guard's equipment.
"We were working with the fire department to make sure that they're efficient on our equipment," Marshall explains. "In case we do need them on an actual ice rescue case, they can help us out."
Several lifesaving scenarios were practiced to get a hold of the person in the chilly water and pull them to safety.
Lieutenant Jeff Green of the Marquette Fire Department says "it??s important" for firefighters to train with the Coast Guard and understand "what they do" and "how they're going to do it."
According to the Michigan DNR, approximately two million people take to the frozen lakes every winter for ice fishing.
"If you??re going to take the chance, do so as educated and cautiously as possible," adds Green.
Rescuers encourage residents:
- Never venture out alone
- Always let someone know where you are going
- Check the ice every time