HARBOR BEACH (WWJ) –  The pilot of a small plane who floated in Lake Huron for 17 hours after his plane went down is describing the ordeal.

Michael Trapp from New York was flying a small plane to Wisconsin when his engine stalled.

Speaking to reporters from his hospital room, Trapp talked about the moments before the plane hit the water.

“I was going down. My last call was to Lansing, and I’m like, listen, I said I’m going down right now. I gave them my bearing. I told them I’m 29.2 miles from shore. I said get out here, I don’t want to die, I said.”

“Just before I hit the water, my engine went back to full-speed. It was too late,” Trapp said.

The 42-year-old Trapp found himself in 68-degree water, with no life jacket.

“I got on my back, and I just started swimming backwards. It took me about seven hours, I supposed, to get closer to shore. But, the problem was, there’s like a current by shore. And you physically can’t swim past that current,” he said.

Trapp said thoughts of his family kept him going.

“One thing I wanted, one more time, was wrap my arms around my wife and my mom. my family, one more time.  I just wanted to feel them one more time,” he said. “I just tried to keep as much of a positive attitude as I could, and just went into survival mode at that point.”

Dean and Diane Petitpren of Grosse Pointe Farms were traveling to the Upper Peninsula when they spotted Trapp a mile and half from shore, Wednesday morning.  The couple pulled Trapp, conscious, from the water before the Coast Guard arrived to take him to the hospital where he was recovering, Thursday.


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