Using night vision, Coast Guard rescues Canadian man on Lake St. Clair

(WXYZ) - The United States Coast Guard stationed out of Detroit battled thick fog and had to use night vision goggles to help a Canadian man trapped on ice on Lake St. Clair Thursday night.

According to the Coast Guard, around 6 p.m., watchstanders at the 9th District Command Center were contacted by crews in Trenton to help in the search and rescue of a man in Mitchell's Bay, Ontario, in the eastern part of Lake St. Clair.

The contacted crew said they found his position using a cell phone ping, and the Ontario Provincial Police and Chatham Police and Fire departments had responded by land, but the Royal Canadian Air Force couldn't respond due to weather.

That's when the Coast Guard jumped into action, and hoisted the man from the ice about 1.5 miles from shore.

The Coast Guard crew said they had poor visibility, so bad they had to use night vision goggles and could barely see the light from his cell phone.

The man was hypothermic and said he had been on the ice for nearly 12 hours and was wet from being rained on and because he was wading through 3 inches of water on the ice due to the warm temperatures.

He told the Coast Guard that fog prevented him from seeing shore and he was lost out on the ice.

Crews took the man back to Selfridge Air National Guard base because of low fuel and transferred to an EMS. He was then taken to the hospital where U.S. Customs and Border Protection coordinated his return to Canada.

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