TRAVERSE CITY — Two teens’ canoe trip through mushy ice on Silver Lake came to a soggy end after frigid water filled their craft and left them stranded on an island.
Grand Traverse County Metro emergency personnel on Monday evening returned the teens to shore and also gave a lift to a neighbor who kayaked to the island to make sure they stayed warm.
Metro Fire Assistant Chief Terry Flynn said the boys, both 16, paddled through a mixture of open water and ice floes toward the island, about 500 feet from shore.
“The kids were trying to bust through the ice to get to the island and they took on water,” Flynn said.
Flynn said one teen’s mother called dispatchers at 7:21 p.m. and told them the boys were stranded and cold on an island near West Silver Lake Road and Boone Road.
A neighbor used a kayak to check on them as they awaited rescue and carted along a jacket and coat to keep them warm. Ice stopped a rescue boat and the rescuers had to swim to the island.
Flynn said the rescuers returned the teens, the neighbor and the canoe back to safety. He said the rescue came during a particularly busy day for Metro firefighters and emergency personnel in which they responded to more than 20 calls.
“This thing here topped it off,” he said.