Shelby Township man drowns in Lake St. Clair

Sheriff’s divers work two drownings that occurred July 7

By: Julie Snyder, Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published July 10, 2014

A 33-year-old Shelby Township man drowned in Lake St. Clair July 7 after assisting a woman who had gone into the water after being pushed from a boat, Macomb County Sheriff’s officials say.

Dive teams responded to Lands’ End Marina, on South River Road in Harrison Township, after the man failed to resurface at approximately 7 p.m. The body could not be found at that time, and the search commenced July 8 and 9. Julian Joseph Martinez’s body was recovered at 10:06 a.m. July 10 in approximately 10 feet of water.

Martinez was one of seven individuals on a 25-foot boat just off Lands’ End Marina, at the mouth of the Clinton River.

Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said initial reports indicate that one of the women aboard the boat was urinating over the edge when a second female, in jest, pushed her into the water. The woman struggled to stay afloat, and two men, including Martinez, who were on the same boat jumped into the 72-degree lake to aid her. The woman and the other man were able to get back onto the boat.

Members of the Harrison Township Fire Department, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and members of the U.S. Border Patrol assisted at the scene. The search for the man’s body continued into nightfall, and commenced again the morning of July 8.

Sheriff’s Lt. John Michalke said on the morning of July 9 that divers had expanded their search area.
An autopsy is expected.

In a separate incident, dive team members were also called to Stony Creek Metropark after a 44-year-old Hazel Park man drowned in the waters near Baypoint Beach.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s dive team recovered the body of a 44-year-old Hazel Park man at 8:30 a.m. July 8 from the waters near Baypoint Beach at Stony Creek Metropark.

The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Police Department called the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office to assist in recovery efforts at about 7 p.m. July 7 after the victim’s nephew reported being unable to locate his uncle, Michalke said.

“They were swimming at Baypoint Beach. The younger man came out of the water and was packing things up to leave the park when he realized he couldn’t find his uncle,” Michalke said.

Early on July 8, divers redeployed to Stony Creek and recovered the body. He said the family of the Hazel Park man had either not yet been notified or was in the process of being notified, so he could not release the man’s name.

The Hazel Park man’s body, he said, was located near where dive teams discovered the body of 21-year-old Malcolm Robert Fairley, of Pontiac, last month. On June 1, Fairley jumped off a paddleboat he had rented with three friends near the boat launch, resurfaced once and then disappeared. His body was found three days later.

Michalke said he was not sure how the number of drowning deaths this summer compares to previous years, but that it is still early in the boating season.