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66 anglers rescued from ice floe off Wisconsin shore

Ice boats, helicopters and rescue swimmers were used in the four-hour rescue mission on Lake Michigan.

Dozens of anglers had to be rescued Thursday morning after they became stranded on three separate ice floes that detached from the shore in Door County, Wisconsin.

Anglers just before 9 a.m. Thursday reported they were stranded on the ice in Lake Michigan after pressure cracks in the ice opened between them and the shoreline, according to the Door County Sheriff's Office.

The U.S. Coast Guard said high winds from an approaching winter storm pushed the ice floe and the anglers farther away from shore.

In total, there were 66 anglers on ice floes in three different areas of the lake, including off Sherwood Point in Nasewaupee, Wisconsin; the Sand Bay area in Gardner, Wisconsin; and in the Little Harbor area of Sevastopol, Wisconsin, the sheriff's office said. 

Nearly a dozen agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, responded to rescue the anglers. Crews used iceboats and the Coast Guard came in with helicopters to lower down rescue swimmers to coordinate the rescue efforts to get the anglers to safety, which took about four hours, the agencies said. 

Here are some photos of the rescue, which show open water between the anglers and the shore:

Law enforcement cleared the scene at 12:48 p.m., right before a "major" winter storm hit the area, the sheriff's office noted. 

The Door County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Coast Guard are reminding people that ice is never 100% safe.

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