Thursday, January 1, 2009
It happens every year. Some idiot ice fisherman ends up drifting off on an ice flow and has to be rescued. Right now, as I write this, two ice shanty's are adrift on a massive ice flow that fractured off within 15-25 minutes of the Arthur Anderson transiting the channel mid-bay. The fissure opened up and the entire ice flow which I estimate to be several square miles big, is drifting in the southerly winds to the north. (south winds are 20-25 knots currently)
I'd estimate that the water gap is a good 50 hards wide at this point, and while I cannot tell if the two shanty's are occupied, a call to 911 was placed regardless to be on the safe side. I'm interested to see if they dispatch Eagle III or the hovercraft to investigate.
9:31 AM CST Update - Drift is now 200 yards north of the initial location.
9:35 AM CST Update - Drift is has increased rapidly and they are now an est. 350 yards north of their initial position.
9:38 AM CST Update - Using on-shore site line references, I'm estimating their drift at 8 feet every 15 seconds assuming the shanty is 8 feet wide.
9:53 AM CST Update - Drift is now 8 feet every 10 seconds.
10:28 AM CST Update - Still drifting north. Wind is really kicking up snow around the gap which is nor between 50 and 70 yards wide.
11:25 AM CST Update - They are still headed north. Gap is perhaps 100 yards wide now. I'd estimate that they've drifted almost a mile at this point.
UPDATE - To the north of us, 12 people needed to be rescued from this ice flow and they left a bunch of vehicles on the ice (which the Wisconsin DNR will fine them for if they happen to end up in the water)