Missing boater saved off Harbert Beach

HARBERT, Mich. - A missing boater was saved Wednesday morning in Lake Michigan near Harbert Beach just south of Sawyer.

The Chikaming Township Fire Department said just before 10:30 a.m. a Mishawaka woman in her 40s fell off her kayak more than a mile from the beach and couldn’t get back in.

“We got her,” said Chief Mike Davidson. “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s a big lake.”

At 10:30 Davidson said crews responded to a boater in distress. The woman called the Mishawaka Police Department with cell phone and said she was floating in the water and couldn’t find the shoreline.

 “She seemed to be hugging the shoreline pretty tight, so it’s surprising that she managed to get so turned around,” Michael Weiland a witness who saw the woman an hour before the incident.

“The best we had from dispatch was ‘off Harbert Beach,’” said Davidson.

Rescue boats searched for nearly 45 minutes before locating the woman and her boat. The woman was taken to the hospital for hypothermia.

Davidson credits the constant communication between the woman, call center and rescuers for the speedy search and rescue. “It’s a good story,” he said.


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