The coast guard says great lakes ice is dangerous and unpredictable because of the wind howling out of the west. Starting around 3 am local fire department crews responded here, rescuing four people from the ice. A few hours later the coast guard was called in for with reports of four wheelers and people drifting away.
"You can be out on a piece of ice and twenty minutes later, said Bay County resident Jim Jenicke.
You know you got water around you. It's just crazy because of the wind.â??
The Michigan coast guard says over a dozen distressed calls were made over the weekend. Dangerous ice conditions continued this morning.
"We initially responded with a helicopter and our airboat. We started to head out there and encountered some rough weather and heavy seas,â?? said Coast Guard Petty Officer Caleb Stephenson.
Poor conditions forcing the airboat to pull back and let their dolphin helicopter conduct a search for four wheelers drifting away on ice.
"It didn't find any people so right now what we have is a couple of four wheelers out there on the sheet that floated away,â?? said Stephenson.
Residents along the Saginaw bay are keeping tally of this years emergency rescues. This weekend's conditions are adding extra numbers to Jim Jenicke's count.
"This weekend they have been rescuing a lot of people, just this wind and warm weather. People are just itching to get fishing,â?? said Jenicke.
The coast guard is urging those scratching that itch to use proper precaution.
"You always need to have a buddy, know where you are going, wear a life jacket and some way to get out,â?? said Stephenson.
Whether it is a screw driver or ice holes the coast guard says it's the difference between life and death in changing weather conditions.
"You come back at 9 10 o'clock at night and the next think you know the crack is 15 feet wide open,â?? said Jenicke.
It is unconfirmed where the four wheelers came from or where the people went but the Standish Saginaw River Coast Guard says each call is handled as an emergency.