Helicopter rescues two men stranded on Lake Winnipeg ice

WINNIPEG — After a failed rescue attempt by boat, a helicopter was used to rescue two men stranded on Lake Winnipeg.

According to RCMP, around 1:20 p.m. Saturday, officers received a call regarding two 22-year-old men who were out ice fishing on Lake Winnipeg when a large piece of ice they were on separated from shore and began to drift out into the open water.

RCMP said one of the men contacted police and provided updates on their condition and location via coordinates.

The Matlock Fire Department tried to rescue the men with a zodiac boat, but the attempt was unsuccessful due to the harsh weather conditions.

Jeff Kubish was checking the ice conditions on the lake when the incident happened. He said there was a pressure crack in the ice and high winds pushed the broken piece to make a big 50-75 metre gap of open water.

At around 5:00 p.m., RCMP gave an update, telling CTV News that a helicopter had been called to rescue the men.

An RCMP spokesperson said the police force contacted a local private helicopter and had them go to the area. It was successful in removing the two men from the ice.

The spokesperson said STARS Air Ambulance was originally contacted to see if they could attempt a rescue but was busy at the time. STARS later said it could attend, but it was longer needed.

No injuries were reported.

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