Coast Guard rescues man from middle of frozen Lake St. Clair

Coast Guard says man was attempting to walk from Detroit to Toronto

(U.S. Coast Guard photos by Lt. Josh Zike)

DETROIT – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man Thursday morning who, they say, was trying to walk across frozen Lake St. Clair as part of his journey to Toronto.

The 25-year-old American man told the Coast Guard he wanted to walk all the way from Detroit to Toronto. He was spotted by the lookout on the Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay about 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the middle of Lake St. Clair, about 1.5 miles from Seaway Island.


The ice-rescue team walked out onto the ice to the check on the man. They questioned him and treated him for symptoms of hypothermia. He was taken aboard the cutter.

The cutter transported him to the municipal pier in Algonac, Mich. where he was handed over to emergency medical personnel.

The Coast Guard says the man was not dressed appropriately for the conditions out on the lake. Moreover, he was not wearing any flotation gear and had no form of communication.

"Most of us joined the Coast Guard to protect life," said Lt. Joshua Zike, commanding officer of the Neah Bay, in a news release. "Our primary mission during the winter months is breaking ice to keep commercial traffic moving, but preserving life will always come first."

This rescue by the Neah Bay crew is the first rescue of a person conducted by an ice-rescue team deployed from a Great Lakes cutter in more than four years.