Chris Green, Kevin Haas
Rockford Register Star, Ill.
Mar. 2—ROCKFORD — Rockford Fire Department rescued two men Monday who were stranded on a slab of ice floating down the Rock River in downtown.
The two men were fishing while sitting on a mattress on top of a roughly 20-by-20 foot patch of ice connected to the river bank north of the Jefferson Street bridge. The ice broke free from the bank and floated about 500 yards downstream.
Firefighters deployed an inflatable banana boat to rescue the men. No one fell into the frigid water and no one was hurt.
“Luckily, the current was moving very slowly,” said Rockford Fire District Chief Luis Duran.
He also said the men were fortunate that the slab of ice did not break further. Instead, the ice kept them afloat and from falling into the river and risking hypothermia.
Duran said witnesses were present when the ice broke away from the bank and immediately called 911.
Chris Green: firstname.lastname@example.org; @ChrisFGreen
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