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Kayakers Rescued by Local Residents

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Date: August 13, 2012
Contact: Bill Smith, 906-387-2607, ext. 205

MUNISING, Mich. Park Rangers from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are crediting Robert Helsel and Steven Welters of Munising with saving the lives of a 30 year male from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a 27 year old female of Spring Lake, Michigan, whose kayaks had capsized off the thumb of Grand Island on Sunday, August 12, at about 12:30 p.m.

The kayakers were paddling from Miners Beach to Grand Island in recreational kayaks without skirts. "Fortunately they were wearing their life jackets and had a whistle or they most likely would have been lost before Helsel and Welters came by, boating in from a fishing trip," said Park Ranger Clif Edwards. "The kayakers advised they had been capsized for about an hour and half when rescued and were mildly hypothermic. They refused medical treatment," Edwards added.

"This was the fifth near drowning of the weekend in the Pictured Rocks area," said Acting Chief Ranger Bill Smith. "We urge kayakers and swimmers to plan carefully, watch lake conditions closely, and use extreme caution."

Did You Know?

The Schoolcraft Blast Furnace was located at today's Munising Falls site.

The Schoolcraft/Munising Blast Furnace operated from 1869 to 1877. It produced many tons of pig iron for post Civil War continental expansion. Only ruins remain at this National Register of Historic Places site, located at Munising Falls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. More...