U.S. Coast Guard

DETROIT, MI--   The Coast Guard is cautioning people that while the weather might be warm, Great Lakes temperatures are still cold. 

Officials say even if the air feels hot the water temperatures of Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron are only in the high 30s to low 50s.

Mike Baron, Recreational Boating and Water Safety Specialist for the 9th Coast Guard District, says water as warm as 76 degrees is still considered cold an is a significant risk for those unprepared for sudden immersion.

CLEVELAND, OH--   The U.S. Coast Guard has finished buoy operations on the Great Lakes earlier than expected. 

Operation Spring Restore involved the re-installment of more than 1,200 federal navigational aids, including lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons. The effort wrapped up Tuesday, five days ahead of schedule. Due to a light ice year crews were able to start operations on March 14—a full two weeks earlier than normal.

JACKSONPORT, WI--   The U.S. Coast Guard out of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin responded to two kayakers in distress near Jacksonport Friday.

Around 11:30 a.m. the men reportedly fell out of their kayaks about a half-mile offshore. Around noon a Coast Guard crew arrived on the scene aboard a

25-foot response boat and transferred the men, who had been recovered by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department boat crew.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI (AP)--   The U.S. Coast Guard has wrapped up icebreaking operations for the season in the western Great Lakes. 

Mild winter temperatures produced below-average ice cover on the lakes. The Coast Guard says ice had no significant effect on commercial navigation this year, and nearly all the ice that formed has melted.

Six Coast Guard cutters assigned to the mission conducted nearly 2,200 hours of domestic icebreaking in support of U.S. and Canadian shipping interests.

HOUGHTON, MI--   At the request of local officials the U.S. Coast Guard will conduct ice-breaking operations in the Keweenaw Waterway starting Monday.

The cutter will make its approach from the east and enter at Keweenaw Bay. It will transit west through Portage Lake, ending at the upper entry and exiting into the open waters of Lake Superior.

All recreational users of the Keweenaw Waterway should plan their activities carefully and use caution near the ice.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   The U.S. Coast Guard continues ice-breaking activities this week, in anticipation of the opening of the Soo Locks on Saturday. 

Wednesday morning a cutter will conduct spring breakout operations on the St. Mary’s River near Pipe and Drummond Islands.  It will open the Pipe Island Passage and circumnavigate Drummond Island along the International Boundary Line into the North Channel.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (AP)--   The U.S. Coast Guard says a helicopter crew from northern Michigan rescued an injured snowmobiler from a remote area of southern Canada. 

The Coast Guard says the rescue took place after Canada's Joint Rescue Coordination Center received a report of the emergency from the Ontario Provincial Police Department and Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Fire Department on Saturday afternoon.

BEAVER ISLAND, MI--   A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter evacuated a man with a life-threatening illness from Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan Saturday morning. 

A helicopter from Air Station Traverse City tried to reach the man early in the morning, but heavy fog, snow, and icing conditions forced it back. Another crew reached the island later that morning under slightly better conditions. The helicopter took the man to Cherry Capital Airport, where an ambulance took him to the hospital.

MILWAUKEE, WI (AP)--   The U.S. Coast Guard says warming temperatures this weekend could pose safety issues on Lake Michigan and frozen inland rivers, streams and ponds.  

The Coast Guard is urging people to use extreme caution on the water and melting ice.

Ice thickness can vary, even in small areas. Water currents around narrow spots, bridges, inlets and outlets can cause thinner ice. The Coast Guard says stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas.

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, MI--   Two people have drowned in Lake Superior at Little Presque Isle.

The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office says Saturday around 3:10 p.m. two 22-year-old women waded into the water to get to a nearby rock.  One of the women made it, but the other started struggling.  The first woman reentered the water to help her friend but both were swept up by the current.  A 24-year-old male bystander went into the water to help but could not make it back to shore.