U.S., Canadian Coast Guards, Macomb County Sheriff rescue man overdue since Tuesday on Lake St. Clair

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard and the Macomb County, Michigan, Sheriff’s Marine Division combined efforts to rescue a 31-year-old man aboard a 16-foot boat in Lake St. Clair Wednesday morning after he had been reported overdue Tuesday evening.

Just after 6 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Detroit were notified by the Macomb County Sheriff of a 31-year-old man who was overdue from a fishing trip in Lake St. Clair.

It was reported that the man had set out from St. Clair Shores, Michigan, at noon Tuesday. The man checked in with his father at around 4 p.m. stating that he was fine, but then he never returned home. His last known position came from a ping on his cell phone at around 6 p.m.

Sector Detroit directed the launch of a crew from Coast Guard Station St. Clair Shores aboard a 25-foot response boat and a crew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aboard a Dolphin helicopter. They also issued an urgent marine information broadcast that advises mariners of a situation, asks them to keep a sharp lookout, to report all sightings to the nearest Coast Guard unit and to assist if possible.

The Canadian Coast Guard also dispatched a crew from Station Port Lambton, Ontario, aboard a rigid-hull inflatable boat.

At 9:15 a.m., a Macomb County Sheriff’s Marine Division boat crew located the man in Lake St. Clair and towed him and his vessel to shore at the marine division docks. He was found in good condition and stated that he had waited overnight for the weather to clear, however he had ran out of fuel and was unable to return to shore.

“We are very happy with the outcome of this case,” said Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Settel, the assistant command center supervisor at Sector Detroit. “The ping from the man’s cell phone helped to establish a more precise search area, that ultimately lead to his rescue.”

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners always take a marine radio with them when they head out on the lake. Marine radios are more reliable than cell phones during an emergency. The Coast Guard is always monitoring VHF-FM channel 16 for signs of distress.

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