Crews preparing for possible ice rescues

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Fishermen are braving the ice today in Bay County.

Last night volunteers and local first responders were out in the same location rescuing people who were stranded.

“It’s very difficult to see. There were times we could only see 50 feet. I mean you could not see anything,” Captain Mark Pieniozek said.

Pieniozek was one of a handful of concerned people who stepped up and used their airboats to help rescue several people stranded on the ice.

Less than 24 hours after the rescue this volunteer watches as other fishermen head out.

"It's in very poor shape right now. We got a lot of standing water on top of the ice, and it's softening up. Obviously with 50-degree temperatures today it's no place to be out there right now. You can't tell good ice from bad ice right now,” Pieniozek said.

He says if you decide to go out there make sure someone knows where you are at all times.

"Text them your GPS coordinates and the end of the road you are at, and if you move, please tell them where you moved too,” Pieniozek told ABC 12.

Over at the local Coast Guard station, the crew is preparing for what could be another busy night.

"There could be still some good solid ice, but there's going to be a layer of water on top, which deteriorates the ice and cause it to melt faster,” Petty First Class

"It's someone's father, son, brother, or dad. It could be any one of us. So, we try and help out as much as we can in the community with whatever resources we can,” Pieniozek said.

Crews with the Coast Guard say to wait until there are a few days in a row of below-freezing temps.