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Captains, deckhand, doctor helped save family of 4 at Pictured Rocks

Jun 14, 2019 05:51AM ● By Editor

Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore.  Photo:  National Park Service

By Brandon Champion of - June 14, 2019

Two Michigan captains, a deckhand and a well-placed physician were among those who saved a family of four from the shores of Lake Superior Tuesday night.

The Minneapolis family had been forced to swim about 150 yards through 47-degree water to the rocky shoreline after their canoe began taking on water and swamped near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Pictured Rocks Cruises, whose passengers and crew spotted the family, recounted the dramatic rescue in a detailed Facebook post. 

After spotting the family, Captain David Sliter made several emergency calls for help because the jagged boulders and underwater obstacles in the area in front of the beach made it impossible for his cruise ship to reach the family.

The Alger County Sheriff’s Department, as well as Dean Seaberg of the Grand Island Ferry Service responded. It was Seaberg’s boat that had a shallow enough draft to approach the stranded family, who were noticeably distressed due to rising winds.

Family of 4 rescued at Pictured Rocks after canoe swamped in Lake Superior

Seaberg was joined by deckhand Alex Hill of Pictured Rocks Cruises and a physician who happened to be a passenger on the Pictured Rocks Cruise boat. The trio eventually climbed the rocks to reach the family.

The two children were reportedly so weak and numbed by cold that they couldn’t walk, so Hill and the physician carried them approximately 40 yards down a rock pile to an area where the Alger County Sheriff boat could pick them up and rush them to Munising Memorial Hospital for medical attention.

Sliter told WLUC-TV6 that he later visited the family at the hospital, only to find they didn’t have keys to their vehicle or RV because it had all been lost when the canoe became swamped, so he lent them his vehicle.

Alger County Sheriff’s officials are reminding people to use “extreme caution” when out on Lake Superior.

To read the original article and see related reporting, follow this link to the website. 

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