Ship Picks Up Jet Skier in Lake Superior

FILE - The M/V Michipicoten rescued a lost jet skier in the middle of Lake Superior. FILE - The M/V Michipicoten rescued a lost jet skier in the middle of Lake Superior. |  Photo: Baihly Warfield/WDIO-TV

Created: July 15, 2019 03:14 PM

A jet skier who set off from Grand Portage probably didn't expect to be picked up by a ship in the middle of Lake Superior, in the middle of the night.


The rescue happened around 2 a.m. on Monday, July 8.  The lost jet skier was about 25 nautical miles south of Isle Royale, midway between Minnesota and Michigan, when he managed to get some cell phone reception and call a friend for help.

The U.S. Coast Guard asked the M/V Michipicoten to look for the man since he was believed to be along the Michipicoten's intended track to Sault Ste. Marie.  With the assistance of a Coast Guard helicopter, the crew was able to find the man.

"The crew did a fantastic job in preparing the deck to retrieve him, of course, not knowing the condition of the jet skier if found," Captain Jonathan Barnes recounted in a news release issued by the Michipicoten's owner, Rand Logistics.

"The weather was fair, but moderately chilly. And, after some time, the jet skier was found in good health!" Barnes said.

The Michipicoten's crew also retrieved the jet ski so that there would not need to be a future safety marine broadcast of an unmanned vessel.  The man rode on the Michipicoten to Sault Ste. Marie.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the man had apparently become disoriented in fog but did not confirm reports that he had been headed for Isle Royale.  However, they did discourage anyone else from trying to replicate the journey.

"The Coast Guard does not recommend anyone attempt long distance travels, such as the one apparently attempted by this individual, on a watercraft such as a jet ski. Water temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions are just two of the challenges," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

"Before venturing out, whether on a jet ski, kayak or boat, everyone is advised to wear a life jacket, check the weather before venturing out, dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature, tell someone on land what your travel plans are, and have a way to call for help. The Coast Guard recommends a marine band radio, a satellite phone or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). Although this gentleman was fortunate to be have a cell phone signal to make a call to his friend and to authorities, cell phones should not be replied upon since coverage may not work offshore."

The man's name, age, and hometown were not released.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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