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Lake Erie rescue: What's a first responder to do?

Matt Westerhold • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Here's a thumbs up to Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton, who on Saturday expressed some anger about the lake rescue of 134 ice fishers near Crane Creek State Park. One man died after his snowmobile plunged into Lake Erie.

"I'm very sorry for the loss of life," Bratton said. "(But) this was wrong. These people endangered the lives of volunteer firefighters, the United States Coast Guard ... What happened here today was just idiotic. I don't know how else to put it."

I guess on some level it's understandable that maybe these sportsmen thought the ice was safe because we had been in the deep freeze for so long. In the end, however, they misjudged the situation by a wide margin. Bratton was right.

So ... thumbs up to the sheriff ... for letting his opinion be known. It's food for thought and refreshing to hear a public official give us an unpolished truth.

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