Man rescued from Lake Michigan near Manistee

Crew members from Coast Guard Station Manistee, Michigan and a Manistee County Sheriff's Deputy pose for a photo aboard a 45-foot response boat on Saturday following the rescue of a man in Lake Michigan. (U.S. Coast Guard Station Manistee/Courtesy photo)

Crew members from Coast Guard Station Manistee, Michigan and a Manistee County Sheriff’s Deputy pose for a photo aboard a 45-foot response boat on Saturday following the rescue of a man in Lake Michigan. (U.S. Coast Guard Station Manistee/Courtesy photo)

MANISTEE — A man was treated for hypothermia and minor injuries on Saturday after falling overboard from a pleasure craft on Lake Michigan.

Just before 8:30 a.m., the U.S. Coast Guard Station Manistee watchstander overheard a Manistee County Dispatch transmission regarding a person in the water, clinging to his boat and unable to climb back aboard, according to a press release.

A crew from Station Manistee responded, along with a Manistee County Sheriff’s Office deputy aboard to help communicate with central dispatch, to a position approximately five miles south of Manistee, two miles off shore.

When the arrived on scene, the rescue crew found two people aboard the 27-foot boat holding on to the man in the water, according to the press release from the Coast Guard. It was reported the man had fallen overboard when he lost his footing while attempting to net a fish.

The others on board were not able to help the man in the water back aboard due to the freeboard of the vessel and lack of a ladder or swim platform. They assisted the man in donning a life jacket and throwing him a life ring and additional life jacket prior to the arrival of the rescue crew.

The man had been in the water for approximately 45 minutes and was highly fatigued. The rescue crew deployed a surface swimmer, who assisted the man aboard the rescue boat where he was treated for hypothermia and a minor abrasion on his knee.

The crew took the man to Station Ludington where he was met by EMS for further treatment, and then transported to Spectrum Hospital.

The Coast Guard reminds mariners to dress for the water temperature and to always wear a life jacket.

On-scene weather was reported as waves less than a foot and a northwest wind at 5 mph. The water temperature was 61 degrees.

The Coast Guard considers water temperatures less than 77 degrees to be cold and capable of quickly causing hypothermia.

In addition to wearing a lifejacket, the Coast Guard strongly recommends dressing for the water temperature and not the air temperature.

The maritime environment can be dangerously unpredictable and can lead to unexpected entry into the water. Unexpected entry into cold water can trigger a sympathetic gasp reflex, causing the inhalation of water and lead to drowning.

Regardless of the water temperature, it is important for mariners to file a float plan as well. It is as easy as telling a trusted, shoreside source, where you plan to go, how long you think you’ll be there and when you expect to return. Having a point to start a search from can make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful rescue.

On Saturday, the following water temperatures were reported:

• Lake Michigan: 59 degrees;

• Lake Superior: 38 degrees;

• Lake Huron: 39-44 degrees;

• Lake Erie: 65-70 degrees; and

• Lake Ontario: 54 degrees.

Current lake temperatures and forecasts can be found at NOAA.gov.

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