A crack in the ice that grew to approximately 500 feet wide forced dozens of anglers off the Bay of Green Bay Thursday morning. Crews began arriving at locations near Sherwood Point and Sand Bay shortly after 9 a.m. Within an hour, personnel from the fire departments of Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Brussels-Union-Gardner, Jacksonport, Luxemburg, and New Franken, the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, the United States Coast Guard, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were on the ice escorting 66 people back to shore. Southern Door Assistant Fire Chief Randy Massart says some anglers did not know there were any issues until helicopters began circling above the ice shanties.
Massart says there are always cracks out on the ice, but Thursday’s high winds made the problems worse. He added they were off the ice after 12:45p.m. There were no injuries and no one fell through the ice.
PRESS RELEASE-Ice Rescue
On Thursday, February 4, 2021, at 8:56am, the Door County Sheriff’s Office was notified fishermen who were stranded on the ice in the waters of Green Bay due to pressure cracks that had opened between their location and the shoreline. Deputies were notified of and responded to three separate locations. One location was off of Sherwood Point in the town of Nasewaupee. Another location was in the Sand Bay area in the town of Gardner. The third location was in the Little Harbor area in the town of Sevastopol.
The following agencies responded with personnel and equipment to assist in this operation: Brussels-Union-Gardner (BUG) Fire Department, Luxemburg Fire Department, New Franken Fire Department, Southern Door Fire Department, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Door County Emergency Services, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin State Patrol, United States Coast Guard, and the Door County Sheriff’s Office.
Ice boats from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin DNR and the U.S. Coast Guard safely extracted 66 stranded fishermen over an approximate 4 hour period. Helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard also assisted in the operation. Local responders cleared the scenes at 12:48pm. These efforts concluded just prior to a major winter storm entering the area.
The Door County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all winter sport enthusiasts to always check the local weather conditions before heading out and they should carry a reliable means of communications with them. When venturing onto the ice, no ice is ever 100% safe. Proper attire and safety gear is a must.
Prepared by: Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty
Authority: Sheriff Tammy Sternard