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

Matt Westerhold
Mar 23, 2010

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.

Comments

MrSandusky

I have the opinion that Bratton looks just like Boss Hog from The Dukes of Hazard.

I guess I should make it clear that I am talking about the TV version. Seriously, put them side by side.

SanDiegoD

During the summer, the authorities post small-craft warnings and flags are hoisted up for mariners to see. However, as noted by CNN, "Asked whether there are signs or other notification systems to discourage fishermen from going out on the ice under risky conditions, Bratton said there are only Web sites fishermen can check."

So, it seems that there is a public safety gap here. Why warn people on the lake of danger in the summer months, only to sit on your hands and do nothing in the winter? Yes, the fisherman should have known better, but everyone is not always bright enough to do the research - which is why we have public safety officials in the first place. In this case, it looks like they were asleep at the switch, though. We might well ask, who really deserves civil fines, Sherrif.

SanDiegoD

During the summer, the authorities post small-craft warnings and flags are hoisted up for mariners to see. However, as noted by CNN, "Asked whether there are signs or other notification systems to discourage fishermen from going out on the ice under risky conditions, Bratton said there are only Web sites fishermen can check."

So, it seems that there is a public safety gap here. Why warn people on the lake of danger in the summer months, only to sit on your hands and do nothing in the winter? Yes, the fisherman should have known better, but everyone is not always bright enough to do the research - which is why we have public safety officials in the first place. In this case, it looks like they were asleep at the switch, though. We might well ask, who really deserves civil fines, Sherrif?

beepx22

SanDiegoD:

Are we really such clowns as to need the government to tell us everything. It's simple logic, 45 degrees, winds from the south, Stress cracks.... don't get on the ice. I think they should have made it a reality TV showed, called "Don't Break the Ice." Last person standing on a piece of ice, gets rescued free of charge, the rest.... well you know the rest.

Uncommon Sense

Wah, Wah... Public saftey agencies rescue idiots from themselves everyday. Examples: A car accident that occurs because the driver was going 70mph on icy roads. An airplane crash that occurs because the pilot took off in the fog. A water rescue because a boater went out in gale force winds. This was just another day in the life of being a rescue worker along the Lake Erie shoreline.

timlavigne

the issue here is common sence. a car accident is just and accident and if someone crashes going to fast on ice then is ticket for unsafe speed to road conditons adn has to pay the price. here the ice was cracked to the point of using a board to cross over. it was stupid but there was no warning or law so there is nothing to make you think not to do it. that is the point of laws not to generate money like many think but to discourage people from unwanted behavior. you go out west in the mountains and you now when it is avalanch condition and not they have a warning system to tell people not to go. it is even to the point in some areas if you risk it you have to pay to be rescured. we do need to have a warning system and a fine if you go out when it is posted as danger time. remeber common cense don't exhist anymore if it did we would still be a free country. but also remeber accidents happen and if the ice breaks unexpected then no fines accessed.

timlavigne

warnig you must be a math wize who can not use grammer to understand below. :) i know i can't spell or use proper grammer

Kimo

When it's all said and done.
There will be more said than done.

And that's a good thing!