Four boaters rescued on Lake Michigamme

MICHIGAMME – The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office is reminding boat operators to inspect their vessels for seaworthiness before going out onto the water after four men were rescued from Lake Michigamme Sunday when their boat sank near Brown’s Bay.

The sheriff’s office said 48-year-old Alexander Smith II of Michigamme and Donald Smith, 45, David Koller, 58, and Alexander Smith, 68, of downstate Lapeer, Macomb and Ray, respectively, needed to be rescued.

The boaters were on the water to go fishing early Sunday afternoon when the transom and motor broke off the 16-foot boat, causing it to quickly take on water and sink.

Life jackets were on board the vessel. Though none of the occupants were wearing them at the time of the incident, three were able to properly don the personal flotation devices, while the fourth was able to get one around his neck, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office recommends all occupants wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD while aboard watercraft.

A Michigamme resident who lives on the lake rescued the men from the water as sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene at approximately 3 p.m.

One man was transported to Bell Hospital for treatment of spinal pain, but was released shortly thereafter.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.