By Associated Press - Tuesday, March 2, 2021

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Rockford firefighters have rescued two men who became stranded on a patch of ice after it broke free from a bank and began floating down a river.

The two men were fishing while sitting on a mattress atop a roughly 20-by-20 feet (6-by-6 meter) patch of ice when the ice broke free Monday and floated about 500 yards down the Rock River.

Firefighters deployed an inflatable boat to rescue the men, the Rockford Register-Sta r reported. No one fell into the water and no one was hurt.

“Luckily, the current was moving very slowly,” Rockford Fire District Chief Luis Duran said.

The men were fortunate that the slab of ice did not break up, Duran said. Instead, it kept them afloat and prevented them from falling into the river and risking hypothermia.

Witnesses were present when the ice broke away and immediately called 911, Duran said.

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