Massive costs for rescue of Lake Erie ice fishermen

The U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday that a mass rescue of over 100 ice fishermen on Lake Erie in early February cost over $200,000.

Chief Lanier from the U.S Coast Guard confirmed to NBC24 the following expenses were incurred for the Feb. 7, 2009 rescue in Ottawa County:

  • C-130 - $79.050.40
  • 3 helicopters - $134,028
  • 3 airboats including maintenance - $11,050
  • 58 U.S. Coast Guard personnel - $21,058

Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton says local costs were as much as $20,000 spent by 20 other agencies in Ottawa and Lucas counties. All together, total rescue costs exceeded $265,000, according to Bratton.

Rescue efforts began when a miles-wide ice floe broke away on a thawing Lake Erie, trapping over 100 fishermen for hours. One man fell into the water and later died.