Eight hunters who found themselves stranded in an icy Missouri River east of Santee Thursday were plucked out by a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reports none of the hunters suffered injury.
The hunters told authorities no ice had formed when they put two boats into the river between 5:30 and 6am. Rescuers left the two 18-foot flat-bottom boats in the river.
The NSP helicopter pulled the hunters from the boats two at a time by mid-afternoon.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officers first tried to reach the hunters, four in each boat, but the ice prevented them from getting to the hunters.
Game and Parks reports the rescued men were: Leigh Winterboer, Spencer, Iowa; Bill Lang, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Eric Scranton, Norfolk; Mitch Scranton, Norfolk; Brad Rasmussen, Spencer, Iowa; Colby Kerber, Broken Bow; Matthew Cronk, Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Ben Micek, Omaha.
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks first received an emergency call late in the morning. Three Nebraska Game and Parks officers, NSP Troop B officers in Norfolk, the Santee Police Department and Bloomfield Fire and Rescue responded.
Tom Zimmer, Game and Parks law enforcement supervisor for northeast Nebraska, reminded sportsmen to take precautions outdoors in changing conditions.
“In cold weather conditions, be aware of your surroundings,” Zimmer said in a statement released by Game and Parks. “The river can ice up very quickly.”
Click here for a video of the rescue provided by NSP.