Fisherman, kayakers distressed due to high winds - WNEM TV 5

Fisherman, kayakers distressed due to high winds

Posted: Updated:
Source: Huron County Sheriff's Office Source: Huron County Sheriff's Office
HURON COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Several kayakers were in danger over the weekend due to high winds. 

Deputies and the fire officials responding to several incidents on Saturday, June 10 involving fisherman and kayakers in the Port Austin area.

For about four hours emergency responders helped multiple people who were taken over by strong southwesterly winds.

According to a Huron County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, the first incident happened around 3 p.m. when people on a floating fishing platform in the Eagle Bay area was blown into the open water of Lake Huron.

Deputies who responded were able to safely get the fishermen and platform to the Grindstone Harbor without further incident.

As that incident was ending a kayaker near Port Austin break walled.

She told emergency responders she had capsized her kayak and was standing in the water unable to move because she feared deeper water surrounded her.

The Caseville Fire Department was called in to help the female kayaker because deputies couldn't get their regular patrol boat in the shallow water, on top of the strong winds producing three and four foot waves.

The 40-year-old Milford woman was then retrieved and brought back to shore where she was checked about by medical officials because of the longtime exposure to the 60 degree water.

As emergency responders were finishing up with her, the officials witnessed two other kayaks capsize about an eight of a mile from them, with another two people about a quarter mile from them having a difficult time paddling against the strong wind.

The capsized kayakers were able to make it to shore, but the others fatigued kayakers had to be assisted to shore.

“Yesterday’s incidents were another example of bad judgment being exercised in the use of kayaks on the open waters of Lake Huron,” Huron County Sheriff  Kelly J. Hanson said.

The Sheriff said while they had life jackets and some had cellphones, safety was overlooked by the inexperienced kayakers.

Wind speeds out of the southwest exceeded 25 mph Saturday which made it seem easy going out but very difficult to return, if not capsizing in the process.

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