Heard about the 130 stranded ice fishermen saturday?

On Saturday 2/7/09 there were 130 fishermen that got stranded and had to be rescued from lake Erie. One unfortunate man died after falling in, the rest were saved. They were warned not to go out, they all had to cross a 1 foot gap to get onto the ice. By the time some one tried to head for shore, an 8 mile wide piece of ice had separated from the Ohio shore and that 1 foot gap was now 100 feet. These guys had all kinds of equipment like four wheelers, shantys, power augers, fish finders, tackle, not to mention what they had caught. They all had to leave all their equipment when rescued by hydroplane or helicopter. Many were reported to be back today trying to salvage their equipment. Here is my question…

What would the legality be if other people had went and got that stuff. There was a couple hundred thousand dollars of equipment out there or more. I have heard of some maritime law about something being fair game if abandoned at sea, usually a boat or ship, but in this case ice fishing equipment. What is your opinion or knowledge? Sorry the question is so long, but I thought it was an interesting story if you havn’t heard it yet. Thanks in advance to all who answer. I’m going to leave this one up for a while.

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7 thoughts on “Heard about the 130 stranded ice fishermen saturday?

  1. i believe it would be theft, salvage laws apply to sunken ships, a stranded four wheeler would be just that, a stranded four wheeler, same as if you came across it in the woods, not yours to take, then there is the law of karma, you would be stealing someone else’s property after their life had been jeopardized, not good karma, then there is the law of the jungle, which means the owner if he came across you with his property would most likely kick the sh#t out of you

  2. I agree with the answers it would be theft , unless those people forfeit ownership

  3. I agree that would be THEFT out of common courtesy it should be left so that they can return, yes there ARE salvage laws, but there are certain criteria that must be fulfilled before you can just go and take things, i think there is a rule which states when something officially doesn’t belong to them anymore and that they have a certain amount of time before whatever has been lost goes to the people.

    I know that shipping companies have a set amount of time which they have to recover their property, when this time runs out anyone can claim it.

  4. Thanks for sharing the story, it’s really interesting.
    As for the question: if you want to find the answer to a question like this, you just have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you like someone to “salvage” your gear from the ice? If you can, in all HONESTY, say that you would be happy if someone appropriated your stuff… then, well, you can do the same. Easy, isn’t it?

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