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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One Comment

  1. Joshua Losier says:

    Thank you so much to the whole team involved my rescue. Minutes before the Sherrif had reached me, I had given up on staying anchored where I was at(mile from home). I had lifted the anchor, knowing the SE winds, strong at this point would land me on Canadien soil. Not the most desirable outcome, but after 12 hours with no food & water, spending a cold august night shivering, drenched from fighting the waves to get home, almost a full 24 hours on the boat, & watching very few boats come out as it was still very choppy, & the 4 boats I did see, while I waved 2 white
    buckets while blowin my whistle, seemed to slightly angle away from me as if they didnt see me ( & they may not have). I
    was more than ready to hit whatever shoreline I could, & a little hope that my drift might run me near the few boats that were out, & had plans to drop anchor just before getting to the channel, hoping a freight would see me, or some fellow fishermen as its a popular spot for perch & walleye right
    now. & just as I stood up from lifting
    anchor, I see a boat heading somewhat my way, so up go the buckets & whistle which is leaving me more parched with every blow I see him make the slight turn I had witnessed four times that morning.but this turn was different! !! He slight turned his bow directly at me!! So much relief coursed through my veins, knowing im rescued, cause a phone call to my pops to tell him where im at gets me outta there! So as the vessel is nearing, I start to realize that this isnt anordinary vessel. I read sherrif macomb county as he starboard side toward me to approach my boat I had previously & now regretably named “the minnow bucket”. & my first thoughts went straight to, ” here we go, theyre gonna give me a hard time/ find a way to leave me with a ticket”, as this has happened to me growin up as a teenager, even when i wasn’t part of the trouble us men get into during adolescence. But these fine examples of officers of the law changed my judgement of police officers very quickly after we got the specifics of whats goin on, who I am, etc… they were sympathetic to my struggle & very welcoming as I was given water & asked if there was anything they could do for me with an invitation to board their vessel, or a towel, which I poliely declined as the 3 hours of sun had dried me & I wasnt about to abandon ship at this point having stuck with it through all this. I had also let them know all I need is to shoot Dad a call to know where to come find me, tryin to avoid some type of towing fee… I have a small leak that normally isnt a problem but drainin both batteries in an effort to reach shore, is now an issue with my bilge now powerless. So as the one officer began to brief me on hookin the tow rope, I had
    Told them that wasnt necessary, & a phone call was all i needed, still tryin to avoid a tow fee. And he had said, with me takin on water, that he was just gonna give me a tow. I was met at the dock by Dad, the maintenance man, & a charter boat captain who had loaned me some fishin gear & watched me depart 24 hours prior , whos laughingly firstwords I was met with were, “so how’d you do?” As if there wasnt a bigger issue at hand that im bein towed in a day later by the Sherrif. But between me HAVING to answer & show off the 10 – 12″ perch & everyone involved being so calm & relaxed, it helped me realize that everything was o.k & had made me almost unable remember the almost constant panic that
    Plagued me all night, I politely thanked the officers involved while letting them know the level of embarrassment I had, as Is not typical of me to be so unprepred, & he let me know how well I handled everthing. especially, me not leaving the boat! There are countless lessons tohat I will pull from this. If youre a boater, you know what is meant when I say…. we all forget to put the plug in the boat atleast once!… Well, anyone who has done this, will never do it again! That night gave me so many 1 time mistakes, that I will not be taking that boat out until thes issues are solved!

    Fix leak
    gas gauge/spare gallon stored on board
    phone charger/cigarette lighter adapter
    get ship to shore
    flare gun with plenty of flares
    Air horn
    Change of clothes & towel
    emergency snacks (chips, crackers, bottled water, et..)
    small toolbox
    And always leave a detailed note with someone who you can contact & can alert authorities, of where you plan to go, when you should be back, & call that person to inform them of any changes to youre route or possible whereabouts.

    Youll prolly read this list, & think these are no brainers, but its easieer than you think to get comfortable having safe trip after safe trip, year after year, that not only do you forget the importance of all these, you might even think that some of them are unnecessary! All it takes is one perfect storm, to strip you of everything & show you how vulnerable you really are! I am a much better boater having gone through that (possibley a better boater than someone with 60 more years of experience that hasnt gone through that). This is how valuable that day was! And I am very blessed & thankful to God, family that cares, the combined rescue force, including U.S., Canadien Coast gaurd, Macomb County Sherriff’s dep. that together were able to locate me fairly fast, & was very friendly, understanding, & sympathetic to what happened! & also chsnged my view on police, & even though I will do everything in my power not to need to be rescued…..if I do need it, id now prefer it be the Sherrif! Well done gentlemen, & thanx again.