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Coast Guard rescues kayaker fighting waves in Lake Superior

Oct 04, 2019 03:57PM ● By Editor
York Island in the Apostle Island.  Image:  Google Maps

By Brandon Champion of mlive.com - October 4, 2019

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man who was clinging to his kayak near the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior.

Coast Guard Station Bayfield, the National Park Service and local EMS responded to the scene after a camper on York Island reported seeing a person struggling in the water about 50 yards from shore around 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Coast Guard personnel eventually located the 50-year-old man, who was wearing a lifejacket and hanging onto a kayak.

The kayak had taken on water and the person was unable to swim to shore due to rough conditions on the Great Lake. The Coast Guard pulled the man from the water and transported him to shore where he was treated by EMS.

“Cell phone service is very unreliable away from shore and in remote areas, particularly in the Apostle Islands,” said Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Nathan Disher.

“We are very fortunate that the reporting source was able to contact the Coast Guard via a cell phone. While in these remote areas, it is prudent to have an alternate form of communication such as a VHF radio. The Coast Guard always monitors VHF Channel 16; you can immediately contact us in a distress situation over the radio.”

“This joint rescue between the Coast Guard, National Park Service, and local EMS proves how well partnering agencies in this community work together to achieve a positive outcome,” Master Chief Kyle Dupree added.

“There is no doubt that wearing a life jacket saved this person's life. Prior to venturing out on the water, wear proper protective and flotation equipment, have a way to communicate, and be sure to let someone know your float plan,”

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a group of 21 islands and shoreline located on the northern tip of Wisconsin in Lake Superior.

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