Coast Guard searching for missing man near Sault Ste Marie

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard worked closely with local, state and federal law-enforcement personnel to locate a man who was reported as entering the water and not seen re-surfacing about 50 yards off Sugar Island in the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Thursday morning.

A woman called 911 at about 4 a.m. to report a man had just left the island in her rowboat, seemingly attempting to steal the vessel, and when she yelled to him she heard a splash and lost sight of him.

The Coast Guard immediately launched search crews aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Sault Ste. Marie and an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich.

“Regardless of the circumstances leading up to the report, our primary concerns were the safety of the missing man and finding him as quickly as we could,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Bradley Johnson, a search and rescue coordinator at the Sector Sault Ste. Marie command center.

Personnel with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Station Sault Ste. Marie, two Michigan State Police K-9 units and the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department also began searching.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew spotted a lone man emerging from the bushes on a small, uninhabited island nearby at about 9:30 a.m. and passed his location to the other responders before leaving to refuel.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department apprehended the man a short time later with the help of the Michigan State Police K-9 units.

“We often work and train with other response agencies for situations just like this one,” said Johnson. “The close relationships increase the possibility of positive outcomes during search and rescue cases.”

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