On the day winter returned, a disaster on Sodus Bay: A motorist drove his ATV out on the ice, only to have it give way.
Sodus Bay is a very popular spot for ice fishing, and you need about three to four inches of thickness for yourself to go on. but you need five to six inches of thickness to bring your ATV on, or this might happen.
Luckily, the driver got out safely, but the water rescue team was on standby. This situation requires a special wet suit.
These men train every year on the ice and in winter after a warm spell.
“People aren’t really aware of the depth of the ice,” said Matt Sauers, Rochester Fire Department. “They’re out there, it starts to break free, it may break when we are coming after them.”
On the Genesee River, rescues can be even harder. Not because of ice, but because of the swift current. Sauers says, “We have an urban downtown area with a river running through it — that’s swift water, and then there are waterfalls.”
At the Rochester Fire Department, the rescue team uses airtight swift water suits, floodlights, thermal imaging cameras and more.
They average about 100 river rescues annually but saw a spike to 200 last year.