Helicopter crew rescues two men on Lake Winnipeg after ice breaks away from mainland

A two-man crew from Prairie Helicopters Inc., was called in to help rescue efforts Saturday afternoon by RCMP in Selkirk, when two men were stranded on Lake Winnipeg.

Officers telling Global News around 1:20pm, they were called to the shore of the lake, where two 22-year-old men were waiting on a floating piece of ice.

The two were ice fishing when the piece they were on separated from the shore and was pushed into open water by strong wind.

“When I guess it was time to return to the shore, they noticed water in their way.” RCMP spokesperson Sargent Paul Manaigre said.

Read more: High wind effect warning issued for south shores of Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg

RCMP say the two men said they were okay, and provided their coordinates on the lake, but due to strong winds, a ground and boat rescue was not possible.

Story continues below advertisement

Lake Winnipeg rescue on Saturday, December 19. Fire crews unable to use their zodiac boat due to high wind and rough water.
Lake Winnipeg rescue on Saturday, December 19. Fire crews unable to use their zodiac boat due to high wind and rough water. Jeff Kubish / Facebook

“Officers attended to the area along with emergency services, and I guess the fire department there attempted to reach them by zodiac,” Sargent Manaigre said. “But due to high winds, the water was too dangerous for the firefighters to make it to them.”

RCMP reached out to STARS Ambulance to help with the rescue, but at that time they were on another call. Officers then reached out to Prairie Helicopters Inc., a local company in the area. Two pilots with the company heading out to the site later in the afternoon around 4 p.m.

“We were able to land right next to them, they jumped in and we flew them to shore,” Prairie Helicopters Inc. Pilot Justin Seniuk said. “It seemed like the [ice] chunk extended from Gimli to the south basin of Lake Winnipeg, with water surrounding all of it.”

Story continues below advertisement

RCMP say the two men were removed from the ice around 4:45pm and were brought to shore.

No injuries were reported.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source