(PORT CLINTON, Ohio) — More than a dozen people were rescued in Lake Erie after a sheet of ice broke away while they were riding snowmobiles, officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan saved 18 people off the coast of Catawba Island in Ohio after the ice floe broke away, the agency said. All of the rescued were on ATVs and snowmobiles, according to the Coast Guard.


Rescue efforts started at about 1 p.m. after a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Detroit noticed people stuck on the ice.

Seven people were rescued by helicopter, while four were rescued by a Coast Guard airboat. Seven others were rescued by a good Samaritan who arrived at the scene with an airboat.

No one required medical attention once they were brought back to shore, the Coast Guard said.


Officials warned people seeking recreation on the ice “to take precautions, not chances” by dressing appropriately for the water temperature, not the air temperature; wearing a life jacket; carrying a reliable form of communication; and carrying icepicks or screwdrivers that can help them self-rescue if they go through the ice.

“There’s no such thing as safe ice, but people can mitigate their risks,” Lt. Jeremiah Schiessel of the Coast Guard Sector Detroit said in a statement. “Always be sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Great Lakes ice is unpredictable, and conditions can change fast.”

ABC News’ Victoria Arancio contributed to this report.


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