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Great Lakes Media Contact: (216) 902-6020

9th District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: Feb. 07, 2013

Ninth Coast Guard District

Contact: Ninth Coast Guard District External Affairs Office

Office: (216) 902-6020

Mobile: (216) 310-2608

PHOTOs: Coast Guard Air Station Detroit helicopter crews conduct rescue training on ice-covered Lake St. Clair

Click the below thumbnails to obtain high-resolution versions

Air Station Detroit ice rescue training

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer is lowered onto ice-covered Lake St. Clair out of an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit as the aircrew conducts rescue training, Feb. 6, 2013.

Before venturing near or on the ice, Coast Guard crews ensure they have all the appropriate safety equipment and make sure to dress for the water temperature - not the ice temperature.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Neiman

Air Station Detroit ice rescue training   Air Station Detroit ice rescue training

A rescue aircrew, aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, conducts rescue training on ice-covered Lake St. Clair, Feb. 6, 2013.

Training ensures crews remain ready to respond to maritime emergencies in any weather - including the icy conditions common on the Great Lakes.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Neiman

Chief Petty Officer Jamie Force, connected via hoist cable to an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, prepares to be hoisted aboard the aircraft during rescue training on ice-covered Lake St. Clair, Feb. 6, 2013.

Before venturing near or on the ice, Coast Guard crews ensure they have all the appropriate safety equipment and make sure to dress for the water temperature - not the ice temperature.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Neiman

LAKE ST. CLAIR — Multiple rescue helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit conducted ice rescue training on Lake St. Clair Wednesday.

The unit's aircrews, operating MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopters, are based out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mt. Clemens, Mich., and regularly conduct training to ensure that they are always ready to respond to mariners in distress in the water or on the ice.

Air Station Detroit is one of only a few units in the Coast Guard that operate and train in the snow and ice.

“Training is the foundation for our operational capability,” said Cmdr. Keith Overstreet, executive officer of Air Station Detroit. “The Coast Guard’s motto is ‘Semper Paratus,' which means 'Always Ready,' and to be ready we must train in the diverse environments in which we are required to operate.”

People should be cautious and properly equipped when they venture out on the ice.  They should heed all warnings or instructions about local conditions. Ice conditions can change rapidly on the lakes and bays.  Winds shift and bad weather can move in unpredictably.

“Boaters often ask me what they should take with them to help be spotted from a helicopter if in an emergency situation, and I tell them to have strobe lights, flares, and a portable marine band radio," said Lt. Jason Neiman, a pilot at the air station.  "The same is true for ice fishermen."

For more information about the training, or to request additional photos, contact Lt. Jason Neiman at 586-239-6702.

When venturing out, a person should think I.C.E.:

Intelligence - know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.

Clothing - have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life preserver.

Equipment - have the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, in case you fall in. Use these items to dig into the ice and pull yourself out. They are more effective than bare hands! Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.

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