The National Weather Service urged folks to "stay off of the ice on Lake Erie" on Sunday due to dangerous conditions.
"Winds will increase from the southwest with gusts to 25 MPH possible Sunday," NWS Cleveland tweeted on Saturday. "You are urged to stay off the ice on Lake Erie as there is the possibility that the ice will drift away from shore. Dangerous ice conditions could develop causing people to become trapped on the ice."
So, naturally, folks headed straight for Lake Erie to frolic on the ice, taking ATVs and snowmobiles with them. And then 18 people got stranded as the ice broke away from land.
"There was zero ways to get off of that ice," said Dustin Shaffer (in video below), the owner of Island Air Taxi, who noticed the group on an ice floe from up above as he was flying a helicopter. He called the Coast Guard for help. "It turned into a little bigger rescue than I was thinking," he said.
Eighteen people were rescued from an ice floe that separated from land near Catawba Island in Lake Erie, the US Coast Guard said Sunday.
A sheet of floating ice broke away while the individuals were snowmobiling, according to the Coast Guard.
Authorities used a Coast Guard Station Marblehead airboat and an Air Station Detroit helicopter to rescue the stranded group, the Coast Guard said earlier in a tweet. A "good Samaritan" with an airboat also assisted with the operation.
The helicopter lifted seven people, the Coast Guard airboat rescued four and the person helping with another airboat rescued the other seven, the Coast Guard said.
It's not clear how long the group was stranded, but no injuries were reported, according to CNN.