First-time ice fishers Shane Nelson and Robert Verhagen heard a sound similar to a gunshot, and looked around to see what was up. What was up was that the raft of ice they were fishing on had cracked away from the shore in Green Bay, Wisc., and was drifting away. They and 32 others were stranded with their gear but no way to get back to land, Fox 11 reports. The Brown County Sheriff’s Office needed several trips with a special fan-propelled boat to ferry the fishers back to shore from where they had drifted—almost 2,000 feet away.
A boat passing nearby in the not-quite-frozen bay may have caused the crack. The rescue kicked off at about 10:15am when sheriffs first heard of the stranded people. It went smoothly, lasting about two hours, and nobody needed medical attention afterward. But the ice the stranded fishers were standing on was breaking apart from the action of choppy open water on it, CNN reports. In a Facebook post, the Brown County Sheriff's Office warned locals to stay away from the ice in the area, and stay off the nearby roads to boot to leave room for emergency vehicles. “Barge traffic yesterday appears to have weakened the ice,” the post reads. (Read more ice fishing stories.)