WINDSOR, ONT. -- Three people had to be air lifted to safety after becoming stranded on the ice on Lake St. Clair while fishing Saturday, police say. 

Around 11 a.m., area OPP, Chatham-Kent police, Chatham-Kent EMS and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre were called to assist the ice fishers near the Mitchell’s Bay area.

“Police are advising the public that due to fluctuating temperatures the ice is unstable,” a news release from OPP said. “Large cracks have formed creating gaps in the ice making a very dangerous situation.”

OPP say three were air lifted to safety, while others managed to return to shore on their own.

James MacMillan was ice fishing on St. Luke’s Bay Saturday when the ice started to crack mid-day.

He told CTV News dozens of people were able to escape safely.

McMillan witnessed one person fall into the water. That man was able to pull himself out but was airlifted by helicopter.

MacMillan said he also received a call from a friend ice fishing further north in Mitchell’s Bay where people were caught on a sheet of ice.

The U.S. Coast guard detachment in Detroit confirmed a chopper was on scene assisting with the rescue effort.

Police are reminding the public to use “extreme caution” on the ice and to make sure they have a communication device and proper safety equipment.