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Dozens rescued off floating ice chunk

People were fishing on the ice in Lake Michigan when a chunk broke away. Photo: Getty
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Authorities rescued 27 people from a floating chunk of ice that broke away from shore in the bay of Green Bay in eastern Wisconsin, the sheriff’s office says.

No injuries were reported in the incident that happened on Saturday morning (local time) north of Green Bay, in the arm that’s part of Lake Michigan, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Many of the 27 people rescued were ice fishing at the time of the incident.

The chunk of ice floated about one kilometre during the rescue and was about a 1.6 kilometres from the shoreline by the time everyone was brought to solid ground. Authorities said the stranded people were on the separated ice shove for about 90 minutes.

A barge traveling through the bay may have caused the ice chunk to break off the shoreline, the sheriff’s office said.

Shane Nelson, who was making his first ice fishing excursion, said the noise sounded like somebody had fired a gun.

“We thought it was interesting, got out of our shanty, took a look and people were yelling on the ice we’re separating,” Mr Nelson told WLUK-TV.

Airboats from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and the US Coast Guard were able to rescue eight passengers at a time.