TORONTO -- Hundreds of fishing enthusiasts rescued from an ice floe near Toronto are waiting on the shores of a frozen lake, hoping to return after police and the military used helicopters to get them off. A massive rescue operation to pluck people from a large ice floe ended today (Sunday), nearly 24 hours after it began on Lake Simcoe, some 40 miles (64 km) north of Toronto.
Police and the military used helicopters to pluck anglers stranded on the floe after cracks developed yesterday (Saturday) on thin ice covering the lake. The operation was suspended when darkness fell, with more than 200 people still on the ice. Police told them to try to keep warm in their heated fishing huts overnight till rescue operations could be resumed in the morning. Police say a new twist developed today (Sunday) when scores of those rescued earlier ignored danger warnings and began returning to the thin ice to retrieve equipment left behind, including snowmobiles and trucks. One group almost drowned when their truck hit a thin patch and sank partially into the lake. Police say the group smashed the vehicle's doors and windows to get out, but one man had to be taken to hospital to be treated for hypothermia. Police say hundreds have decided to remain near the lake shore in the hope they can return to retrieve their equipment when the ice thinkens again, but there is no way of saying how long they will have to wait. More than 400 people were out on Lake Simcoe yesterday to take part in a traditional fishing event when a large crack developed in the ice. The crack kept widening till it was nearly 100 yards (meters) wide by early Sunday. ---
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