Skip to main content

Virginia man tries to jet ski to Isle Royale, fails

He had to be rescued after becoming stranded on Lake Superior.
beach-daylight-fun-1430675

A man from Alexandria, Virginia found himself stranded in the middle of Lake Superior after trying to jet ski out to Isle Royale.

The 42-year-old set out from Grand Portage Marina, Minnesota, on Sunday, July 7, hoping to reach the island, which is technically a part of Michigan and located about 20 miles as the crow flies from Grand Portage.

But en route, the man found himself in some pretty serious trouble as he hit a fog bank and couldn't see where he was going – all the while his jet ski was running on fumes.

He couldn't get much cell service, but was eventually able to get through to a friend in Florida, who in turn called the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Grand Marais around 8:20 p.m.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office relayed the distress report to the Coast Guard and authorities in Michigan, which spread the word to ships on the lake to be on the lookout for the stranded man.

The man then made a call direct to Cook County just after 10 p.m., who said he could hear a ship's fog horn and said he was sounding his own horn.

He was able to send authorities an image of his compass that gave a better idea of his location, and it was noted there was a freight ship en route to his location that was about 15 miles out.

A search helicopter and a Coast Guard vessel had also been dispatched to look for him.

Eventually, he was picked up by the freighter, identified by the Duluth News Tribune as the Michipicoten, which found him 22 miles south-southwest of Isle Royale and 36 miles southeast of Grand Portage.

Here's roughly where he was found.

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 11.25.04 AM

"Lake Superior can be a wonderful resource to enjoy, whether boating, fishing or swimming, but it can also turn deadly when weather changes," Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliason told BMTN. 

"It has been my experience in 50+ years of living on its shore that watercraft, no matter the size are at the mercy of the lake and the weather patterns which emerge quickly. Everyone who recreates on the lake should always have adequate emergency gear and methods for contact when situations arise."

Next Up

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.

cat

Minneapolis will waive pet adoption fees on Friday

Pet licensing fees still apply to adoptions at the event.

received_5642181912525380

Family who endured car theft ordeal surprised with trip to Universal Orlando

A father rescued his four children after a thief jumped in his car while he was getting something from his trunk.

UgstadRoadJunction

Charges: Teen speeding before crash that killed mother, injured her son

The teenager was driving at speeds between 72-89 mph at the time of the crash.

Northland Vapor in Moorhead, Minn.

Northland Vapor calls St. Paul regulators 'overzealous' in lawsuit over THC sales

The small Minnesota business said the lawsuit was "misleading" and "shameful."

image

Excelsior chocolate shop ransacked by thieves to reopen

Truffle Hill will reopen to the public on Friday.

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/2022/11/SOLWHDPSSI%20FILINGS.pdf

Company agrees to changes after child workers found in MN meat plants

An investigation found children ages 13-17 working hazardous jobs at the plants.

soda-g7792ca8e9_1280

Drinks can company to lay off almost 100 workers, close St. Paul plant

State authorities were informed of the impending closure.

Related

One of the wolves relocated to Isle Royale has died

Four wolves were moved to the island in Lake Superior by the National Park Service.

Screen Shot 2021-08-23 at 7.01.58 AM

Wildfire 200 acres in size burning on Isle Royale National Park

The National Park Service has closed a number of areas of the park.

unnamed-5

Closure of Coast Guard station in Grand Marais raises alarm over water rescues

Local authorities say water rescues are becoming more common in the region.

Wolf dies after being captured for release on Isle Royale

The Park Service is trying to introduce more wolves to the island.

Wolves on Isle Royale nearly extinct

Scientists say one of the world's most closely studied predator populations might vanish within a few years. The Associated Press says a streak of bad luck has left only nine wolves on the island in western Lake Superior. Scientists blame a shortage of females, inbreeding, disease and starvation caused by the decline in moose populations.

Playtime over for the moose on Isle Royale ... the wolves are coming

The National Park Service confirmed they'll add 20-30 wolves to the island by 2023.