"The first couple of days was nice, just like today. But the last couple of days have been rough with all of the rain. Ice has been really rough," said U.S. Coast Guard ice boat crew member Jennifer Pender.
The same types of conditions they'd face on any ice search and rescue call. But the "Ice Sweep Width" study currently under way near Dyckesville is designed to make proven search efforts more efficient in a selected search area.
"Depending on the direction you're traveling, you're going horizontal distances, turning and going horizontal back in the other direction," said Don Becker, Project Manager, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center.
And searchers have 20 life-sized mannequins to track on the surface and in the air.
"We have them in high and low contrast clothing. Some are standing. Some are prone flat on the ice. We're getting a study to see how well we can see them," Becker said.
It will take some time to analyze the data from the two-week search exercise. But for Coast Guard crew members, this type of experience in invaluable.
"With the different situations and scenarios that they're giving us, with the distances definitely makes a difference. I can definitely take the information here back to my unit." said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Shafik Elm.
The exercise will conclude February 21. Anyone finding any of the mannequins on the ice, the coast guard asks to leave them where they are.
Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.