Two people have drowned in Lake Superior at Little Presque Isle, Marquette Township, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Region.
According to Public Radio 90, WNMU-FM, The Marquette County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office said that on Saturday, June 11,2016 around 3:10 p.m. two 22-year-old women waded into the water to get to a nearby rock. One of the women made it, but the other started struggling. The first woman re-entered the water to help her friend but both ended up being swept away by dangerous currents. A 24-year-old male bystander went into the water to help but could not make it back to shore.
At that point two people, a 24-year-old woman and 27-year-old man, found life jackets, went into the water, and saved one of the women. The first man who tried to help and the other woman were not visible from shore.
U.S. Coast Guard and Sheriff’s Office watercraft were called in to search the area. With the aid of a Coast Guard helicopter, Sheriff’s Office divers and Marquette City Police were able to recover the man and woman, who had both drowned.
Marquette Township Fire/Rescue, Michigan State Police, and DNR Park Rangers assisted at the scene.
In recent years, The Sea Grant Project has been working to educate people about the dangers of currents along coastlines of the Great Lakes. Michigan Sea Grant, a cooperative program of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program. The network of 33 university-based Sea Grant programs in coastal states across the country is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Michigan Sea Grant educators, researchers and other specialists provide information about Michigan’s coastal areas to residents, educators and stakeholders through publications, websites, displays, special projects, workshops and presentations. Also, Michigan Sea Grant extension educators live and work in coastal communities around the state of Michigan. (http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/publications/fact-sheets/about-michigan-sea-grant/)
Statistics compiled by the U.S. National Weather Service state that, in 2012 there were 102 fatalities related to Great Lakes dangerous currents. This declined to 68 in 2013, 54 in 2014, and 40 in 2015. (http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/news/2015/11/03/dangerous-currents-coastal-storm-project-collaboration-leads-to-safer-beaches/)