December 20, 2014

Missing boaters found on Saginaw Bay

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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Au GRES — Four boaters who went missing Monday night after leaving from Point Au Gres were located and recovered uninjured by the U.S. Coast Guard early on Tuesday, July 10.

According to Petty Officer Caleb Jones from the Tawas Coast Guard office, the boat consisted of two adults, Macomb residents Brian Nelson, 40, and Ryan Miller, 36, and two children. He said a preliminary investigation suggests the boat capsized after being caught in high winds and choppy waters.

All four victims were wearing lifejackets when the Coast Guard search crews found them in the Saginaw Bay, Jones said, with a group of three located around 7 a.m. and the last one around 8:30 a.m.

“The last one tried to swim for shore and was recovered later,” Jones said. “Everyone else was near the boat.”

Jones said if people are caught in a similar situation, the best course of action is to stay with the boat.

Coast Guard teams from Tawas and Bay City searched the bay, along with a helicopter from the Detroit Air Station, Jones said.

According to Arenac County Undersheriff Don McIntyre, deputies were on the bay searching for the lost boat since 8:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9.

“We had a person in a boat with two (Department of Natural Resources) officers all night,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre said the sheriff’s department searched the county’s waters, and started heading down toward Bay County, as its itinerary had it going toward the shipping channel. The boat was ultimately found far south from the last known position, he said.

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