Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office performs two midwater water rescues | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo courtesy of Sheriff Curt Pennala The Keweenaw Sheriff’s 23-foot patrol vessel was used in two rescues on Friday.

KEWEENAW COUNTY – On Friday, August 5, sheriff’s office deputies responded to two separate distress calls, resulting in the rescue of a kayaker and a boater.

At around 9:20 a.m. Friday, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to two vessels in distress. A distress call was received by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and they requested the Sheriff’s Office for assistance in the search. The first ship was a kayak driven by a 62-year-old woman. She was last seen heading to High Rock Bay from Keystone Bay on Thursday evening.

The second vessel was an 18-foot speedboat reported aground in Keystone Bay. Deputies launched the sheriff’s office’s 23-foot patrol boat from Copper Harbor and proceeded to Keystone Bay. A deputy also launched the sheriff’s office personal watercraft (PWC) from Lake La Belle. The kayaker was near the mouth of Hoar Creek, just south of Keystone Bay near Fish Cove. She had spent the night on the beach without shelter. Due to heavy wave action, she was carried by PWC to the patrol vessel.

The Keystone Bay powerboat ran aground, partially submerged, due to high wave action, the statement said. The owner of the boat, a 58-year-old man, was also transported by PWC to the patrol boat. Deputies then transported the couple to Copper Harbor by boat, from where they were driven to Lake La Belle to collect their vehicle.

Sheriff Curt Pennala said the two rescues were made less than an hour apart.

“The first rescue was from the female,” he said, “She was in the kayak, stranded at the time, due to rough seas. She spent the night near the mouth of Hoar Creek. After they got her off the beach and took her to our patrol boat, they went to find the boater.

“After she was brought back to safety on the patrol boat, they went to get the guy on the 18ft vessel, and they found him near Keystone Bay, and the boat capsized.”

Pennala said the kayaker and boater were a couple and somehow grew apart. He was looking for her when his boat capsized.

Hoar Creek is just south of Keystone Bay, Pennala said, near Fish Cove.

Neither incident resulted in injuries, Pennala said, and their names are withheld due to confidentiality concerns.

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