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10 people fishing on Lake Superior had to be saved by an 'Ice Angel'

They were on an ice floe that became a floating island when the wind pushed it away from shore.

Monday's crazy winds made it hard to travel by air or on land in parts of Minnesota. And the water was dangerous, too. The wind contributed to a scary scene that had 10 people fishing on Lake Superior suddenly discover that their ice floe had separated from the mainland.

It happened on Chequamegon Bay, where the operator of a bait shop posted that wind gusts created four-foot waves as the anglers fished at Bono Creek not far from Ashland, Wisconsin.

Capt. Scott Thimm of the Ashland Fire Department told KBJR two different groups each with five people were fishing when the wind pushed their ice floe out into the lake.

After it became a floating island the ice eventually disintegrated, Thimm told the Duluth News Tribune. But luckily by then a fire department crew had rescued everyone.

They used a machine called an Ice Angel, which is made to operate on water or ice – kind of like how a duck boat moves on either water or land.

Thimm told the News Tribune the ice in some places was 8 inches thick. But warm temperatures and rain over the weekend had made it unstable.

A fire department brochure emphasizes that no ice on Chequamegon Bay should be considered safe. It says anyone heading out onto the bay should have an ice pick and rope within reach at all times and suggests people call a bait shop to get word of current conditions.

Ashland's fire department says the Ice Angel it shares with the Ashland County sheriff's department is called the "Dan B." All of Ashland's firefighters are trained in ice rescues and get re-certified every year through a combination of classroom study and field training.

A video the department posted to Facebook  a few years ago gives a first-hand glimpse of some of that training.

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