Dozens Wade To Shore After Tour Boat Damaged
EMPIRE (WWJ/AP) – Dozens of people waded to shore and two were rescued by helicopter from a tour boat that was damaged by a wave in Lake Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, authorities said.
The operator of the tour boat Pictured Rocks called for help shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday after a wave reportedly went over the boat’s bow, smashing a window and causing the boat’s electronics to malfunction, the Coast Guard said. The boat had 61 people aboard.
No major injuries were reported, although some passengers reported scrapes and minor cuts from broken glass.
Waves in the area were 2- to 4-feet high at the time, the Coast Guard said.
“Rough weather and night operations can make for a challenging response,” Cmdr. Chris Chase, operations officer at Air Station Traverse City, said in a statement.
A message seeking comment from a representative of the tour boat was left Tuesday morning.
The boat’s operator told the Coast Guard he grounded the boat near the shore in Empire, about 25 miles west of Traverse City, to prevent further damage and keep more water from getting into the boat. All but two of the passengers waded to shore from the boat.
Two passengers with apparent shoulder injuries were lifted from the boat to shore by the Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Traverse City. They were evaluated by emergency medical technicians and taken to an area hospital for further treatment.
Names of those involved weren’t immediately released. The Coast Guard was investigating, and planned to return to the scene Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.