MICHIGAN (WNEM) — Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Todd Sumbera is receiving praise after rescuing two men who were stranded offshore near Drummond Island.
The two Chicago men were stranded in rough water on Friday, Aug. 7. for about 10 minutes.
DNR officials said Sumbera was conducting marine patrol offshore north of the Island and west of Harbor Island when he saw two people in the water clinging to an overturn personal watercraft.
As Sumbera approached the men he identified himself as help.
DNR officials said a 41-year-old man expressed his gratitude to Sumbera stating he didn’t know how to swim. They said both men were properly wearing torn life jackets.
“I’m happy that Sumbera safely returned the men to shore in what could have been a much worse situation had the men not been wearing life jackets,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “This is an example of how wearing a life jacket can save a life.”
According to officials, after Sumbera helped the men onto his patrol vessel, he determined they were in stable condition.
The 64-year-old man told Sumbera that they had never operated a personal watercraft before and the high winds and rough water “swamped them extremely fast” when they put the watercraft in reverse, the DNR said.
Sumbera towed the waterlogged watercraft back to the Drummond Island Yacht Haven and took the two men to shore.
Officials said Sumbera advised the men to obtain and use properly fitting, well-maintained life jackets before their next adventure.
DNR officials said several people have drowned or almost-drowned this summer. For more tips on boating and beach safety, visit the DNR website.
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