Inside Ice Rescue Training in Lake Erie

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CLEVELAND-- Heading out on the ice this time of year is very dangerous. The Coast Guard is warning people it is not safe, but they are training and ready to rescue them.
 
Dale Ververka played the victim trapped in Lake Erie as members of the U.S. Coast Guard performed their annual ice rescue training at the 9th Street Pier in Cleveland.

"It is cold and it's surprisingly more cold when you get out," says Ververka of the Coast Guard.

The training exercises keep Coast Guard rescuers sharp for when they have to save someone who falls through the ice.

"Hopefully, we don't have to use it, but better to know how the system works and if the need arises we can execute proficiently," says Randall Manion of the Coast Guard.
 
The team went through several life-saving scenarios and used different types of rescue equipment to get a hold of the person in the icy water, then get them out of the water and pull them to safety.
 
Members of the Coast Guard say ice rescues are very rare but their training comes into play especially in the beginning and ending of ice fishing season.
 
The Coast Guard warns that the changing weather conditions this winter have made the ice thin and dangerous.
 
"When it's harder for them to judge the ice conditions and all weather changes that come-- a warm front comes through with high winds and high waves it disturbs previously-- we thought to be safe ice and makes that ice in a matter of a day unsafe ice," says Chief Seth Strahan of the Coast Guard.
 
The Coast Guard says if you are going to be on the ice, make sure you know the weather and ice conditions, dress properly to prevent hypothermia and carry proper equipment like ice picks or screwdrivers so in case you fall in you can dig into the ice and pull yourself out.
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