PORT AUSTIN, Mich. (WJRT) – Police said two women taking a leaking rowboat to Turnip Rock in Lake Huron hardly came back alive Monday night.
The Huron County Sheriff’s Office and the Port Austin Fire Department rescued the 35-year-old woman and her 64-year-old mother from a boat taking water off Port Austin at around 7:45 pm Police thinks the boat sank in Lake Huron after the rescue.
Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson said the women left Port Austin around noon in the 10-foot boat with the misunderstanding that they would arrive at Turnip Rock in about 45 minutes. However, he said the trip there took several hours.
They headed back to Port Austin against a strong southerly wind, which exhausted them both. The 64-year-old also became disabled because she did not receive her medication, Hanson said.
Women called 911 from a cell phone on the boat, which resulted in a response from the sheriff’s office in a 31-foot patrol boat and Port Austin firefighters in an inflatable rescue boat. Firefighters found the women well after dark about 1 mile north of Port Austin.
An ambulance transported the 64-year-old woman to McLaren Thumb area hospital while the 35-year-old refused medical treatment ashore.
Hanson said the women were both wearing life jackets, but the water temperature in Lake Huron is below 50 degrees. The boat was full of water and he believes the women would have developed hypothermia if rescuers had not found them.
He advised anyone planning to paddle sports on Lake Huron to assess their skills, equipment and emergency options before setting out.
Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.