Coast Guard: Shifting lakeshore ice is dangerous

Ottawa County

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — On Monday, Jane Frauenheim was near Lake Michigan north of Holland when she spotted something strange: a dog, howling furiously, hundreds of feet out on the ice.

She called 911. 

“It just seemed wrong, it just seemed like something was up,” she told 24 Hour News 8. 

Frauenheim soon learned a young girl had gone missing beyond the furthest ice mound

She feared the worst. 

“That she’s in the water and she’s not alive,” Frauenheim recalled thinking. 

Thankfully, the girl was alive. She was trapped at the bottom of the ice mound but rescued after an air drone spotted her.

“That was a huge relief,” Frauenheim said. 

On Friday, Drone 8 flew above the same area near Holland. 

The footage shows the spectacle: no doubt beautiful, but potentially dangerous as well. 

Not only can the ice mounds be hard to navigate, but with temperatures on the rise, they’re actually starting to break up.

A half hour north in Grand Haven, the icy hills on the shore of Lake Michigan are seemingly less imposing, drawing adventurers out for a look Friday afternoon. 

“I’m not worried about any of it. Do I look worried to you?” one man told 24 Hour News 8. 

But the Coast Guard is worried about the ice. Operations Petty Officer Michael Sheahan recommends that people just stay off it.  

“It might look strong and it might look like you can go play on it and walk on it,” Sheahan said. “(But) there’s spots where a couple pounds of force will put you right through.”

“If you want to go out and take pictures, the safest thing is to stay on land,” he recommended. “Make sure you are in a safe spot, feet planting firmly on solid ground.”

The Coast Guard hopes the warning can help prevent a disaster or another near tragedy. 

“If not for the dog, (the girl wouldn’t have been found),” Frauenheim said. 

“Now my daughter wants a dog,” she added.

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