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Airboats pluck two snowmobilers from Lake Superior near Bayfield

Two snowmobilers were rescued from near Stockton Island Wednesday morning after they broke through two inches of newly formed, snow-covered Lake Superior ice.

Two snowmobilers were rescued from near Stockton Island Wednesday morning after they broke through two inches of newly formed, snow-covered Lake Superior ice.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, its Bayfield station and the Apostle Islands National Park Service received a call from the Ashland County Dispatch Center at 8:29 a.m. that a 67-year-old man had gone through the ice near Stockton Island's Quarry Bay.

Three airboats - one from the NPS and Coast Guard, and one each from the La Pointe and Ashland fire departments - were dispatched, as was a Coast Guard helicopter from Traverse City, Mich.

The first rescuers arriving on the scene found that two snowmobilers had gone through the ice. Both victims had pulled themselves from the water, but were suffering from mild hypothermia. The La Pointe Fire Department airboat transported the victims to Ashland Fire and Emergency Medical Services at Roy's Point.

The NPS and Coast Guard determined that the accident happened outside of the park boundaries, and the investigation was turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Duluth.

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Authorities remind people to be careful when they venture onto the ice.

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