Men escape vehicle as it plummets to bottom of Lake Erie

“We also want people to remain vigilant to the weather and ice conditions, as these two men were very lucky not to have fallen through.”
Alex Green
Feb 2, 2014


Two men drove their SUV out onto a frozen Lake Erie Friday morning, narrowly escaping an icy plunge into the dark waters.   
Their Subaru SUV didn’t fare as well — it now sits at the bottom of the lake. 
Coast Guard crews said they plan to continue investigating the incident to determine if the driver will face criminal charges. 
The driver and passenger headed out onto the Lake Erie ice in their SUV at about the same time a Coast Guard rescue crew was participating in a funeral motorcade for fallen firefighter James Dickman. 
The vehicle was about a quarter of a mile off Catawba point when at about 10 a.m. it began to fall through the ice. The men, whose names were not released, escaped and made it to shore before the truck was completely submerged, Coast Guard officials said.
The truck now presents a pollution risk as it sits at the bottom of the lake, gas leaking from its tank, Coast Guard crews said.
“The Coast Guard will do everything we can to minimize the pollution risk as we await the salvage plan from the vehicle’s owner,” said Lt. James Long, chief of response at Marine Safety Unit, or MSU, of Toledo.
A historic winter in Northern Ohio has dramatically increased ice activities, bringing with it plenty of trouble. 
On Jan. 20, an ice-breaking operation near the islands was halted because of recreational fishing on the ice. The ice-breaking was intended to clear a path for vessels delivering supplies to a Put-in-Bay project.
The Coast Guard has issued repeated warnings about the dangers of ice activities, particularly ice fishing.
“If you do venture out on the ice, exercise extreme caution,” Long said. “We also want people to remain vigilant to the weather and ice conditions, as these two men were very lucky not to have fallen through.”
Days that seem good for ice activity can quickly change, rescue crews said. 
The Coast Guard uses the acronym “ICE” — information, clothing and equipment — as it reminds people to exercise caution. 
Information applies to checking the weather and ice conditions, as well as telling a friend of your destination.
Recommended clothing and equipment includes ample warm-weather clothing, and a marine radio, personal locator beacon, life jacket, compass or GPS, screwdrivers or ice picks.



Can you say "stupid"?
They deserve to lose their vehicle and I hope they get fined the way a boat owner does when a boat sinks. Omg

Tom Sawyer

Now there is some real Huckleberry Finns! Anyone that would take their vehicle out on the ice has got to be out of their skulls! I hope it cost them a fortune for the salvage!


People use to land airplanes on the ice, to drop off and pick up fishermen.


can you say 'ignorant comments'?


What you people and your ignorant comments don't realize, is that the islanders have driven over the frozen lake for years. They know the paths that are the safest for travel. The reason these men got out while their truck sank is because they also know what to do if it doesn't work as well as they would like. They know how to live on an island in the winter.

Tom Sawyer

That sure shows! Being a resident for over 40 plus years, you need a precise route and it needs to be checked atleast twice a day as the currents change the ice everyday! Ignorance is at the bottom of the lake right now sunshine!


What happened in the past is irrelevant, it just plain stupid.

Whiskey Tango F...

I believe it is the same people that are / were involved in the ice breaking operation. They are trying to establish a road to haul materials over to the island. There is plenty of ice to drive a car, just not by mouse island. Navigating the ice is a special set of skills. These guys watch too much reality tv


That they were. The guys in charge of rebuilding the public docks didn't get their material there in time, now they're screwed and face 5 digit fines for every DAY they are over the deadline. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants!

From the Grave

The Sun is melting the snow now even on single digit temperature days, so it probably is melting the ice too.
BTW, Alex~we won't make fun of you for being an egghead if you were to write "'An' historic winter..."

From the Grave

The ground is still hard to dig into, though guys. Why don't you give me a break.


It's not that hard. My neighbor had some excavating done on Friday


I would LOVE to watch the video of this happening! Surely one of these knuckleheads had to have a video/camera recorder handy.
Had to chuckle at this one
"the risk of pollution from the gas tank of the vehicle" lol THIS vehicle and ALL the other 'vehicles' that have gone down..4wheelers, 3 wheelers, snowmobiles, watercrafts, etc from years ago


Not knowing what kind of winter we will have; maybe they should of taken that under review when bidding the job. The past few years we have not had ice and getting material to the island was easier; Its all about deadlines on these projects; now they are risking their lives trying to get it done.

T. A. Schwanger


Who's footing the bill to keep the passage between Catawaba and Put-N-Bay open--the contractor or yours and mine tax dollars?