Water Rescue and Unmanned Boat Retrieval

This weekend’s strong winds caused some troubles around Nicolet Bay and Ephraim. First, a rescue call came in that 2 kayakers and 2 paddle-boarders were out on Nicolet Bay and, despite their struggling, could not fight the wind and return to shore. Some were reportedly without their personal flotation devices. Called to the scene were the Gibraltar Fire Department with assistance from the DNR, Coast Guard, and the Ephraim Fire Department. Before any responders could arrive a different personal water craft helped out. They took the 2 paddle-boarders on board and then towed the 2 kayakers to the DNR unit. The DNR craft then brought all parties safely back to the dock. Everyone was reported fine and without injury. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Burtges commented how this should be a strong reminder to anyone on the water of the importance of your personal flotation device. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin Macdonald remarked how the situation was secured before they could arrive on the scene, but on their way back to Ephraim their rescue boat happened upon an unmanned catamaran which had broken loose from an Eagle Harbor mooring and the wind had already carried it near Anderson Dock. Luckily, they intercepted the unmanned vessel owned by a Chicago man, and towed it back to a secure mooring.

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