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Thinking of exploring for ice caves this weekend? What you should know.

Eric LaPaugh
Leelanau Adventures

There have been some reports of ice caves forming again on Lake Michigan this year – smaller than last year and not in the same spots. But Lt. Dan Schrader of the Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City says the ice on Lake Michigan is not the same as it was last year. He spent a lot of the day Friday flying around the region.

We did notice that, with the winds shifting as they did today out of the south – and especially with the gusty winds, we’ve noticed a lot of ice has shifted from the East and West Bay area and it’s created a lot of openings. Some of the openings were half-to-three-quarters miles wide.
We ask that folks just realize that the ice is not a static piece of ice, but that it can shift around with wind and wave motion. So we ask that folks exercise caution when they go out.
If they do have to go out, we ask them to make sure they have the right equipment – dress properly. We do recommend using dry suits and well as carrying a personal locator beacon when they go out.

Schrader says the Air Station crew has seen an uptick in ice rescues across the state this year.