TOLEDO, Ohio - The Coast Guard and the Washington Township Ice Rescue Teams rescued a woman from the icy waters of the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio early Sunday afternoon.
Around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, a watchstander at the Toledo Coast Guard station received a call from the Toledo Fire Department reporting a woman had fallen through the ice on the Maumee River.
Rescue crews from Coast Guard Station Toledo and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit were launched to assist local fire and police responders who were already on scene but were unable to reach the women due to the icy conditions.
The Washington Township Ice Rescue Team was able to reach the woman by hovercraft and pull her from the water. The women was then transferred from the hovercraft and up a icy rock embankment to an EMS unit awaiting for her.
When transferred, the woman was severely hypothermic and unresponsive but breathing. The woman was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in Toledo for further treatment. The woman's name is not being released and her current condition is unknown at this time.
"Ice is very dangerous so we remind people that when you're in or near icy water we want people to be safe and remember the acronym ICE to keep themselves safe and possibly save themselves if they fall through the ice," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Segura, ice rescue team leader at Station Toledo.
While the Coast Guard understands winter recreation on cold water and ice around the Great Lakes is a tradition, it is important to take safety measures:
Intelligence - Know the weather and ice conditions, know where you're going, and know how to call for help.
Clothing - Have proper clothing to prevent hypothermia; dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
Equipment - Have proper equipment: marine radio, life jackets, screw drivers/ice picks, etc.
Cold water kills quickly! Surprisingly, cold water is defined as any water temperature less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact that air temperatures might be far above freezing is irrelevant when people unexpectedly enter the water.