Lake Erie ice rescue: US Coast Guard, good Samaritan help 18 people stuck on ice floe

CATAWBA ISLAND, Ohio -- The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and a good Samaritan rescued 18 people on Lake Erie near Catawba Island, Ohio, after an ice floe separated from land on Sunday, February 6, officials said.

Aerial footage filmed by air taxi pilot Dustin Shaffer, who said ice rescues are not an uncommon occurrence, shows the operation underway.

The rescue began around 1 pm after an Air Station Detroit helicopter noticed people stuck on the ice sheet. A rescue swimmer began hoisting operations while several ATVs looked for a route back to land and an airboat was en route to the scene. No injuries were reported, according to the USCG.

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On Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service warned people to stay off the ice on Lake Erie.

"A lot of times the guys on the ice don't even know they're stuck on an ice sheet until the coast guard shows up. Other times they are well aware and waiting for help near the crack," Shaffer told Storyful.

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"I always try to look out for them so no one gets hurt. I see a lot more from the air than anyone on the ice does, so I'm their eye in the sky I suppose."