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Missing boater found safe after late-night search of Lake St. Clair

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published July 9, 2019 | Updated July 9, 2019 10:49am

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP  — A 43-year-old St. Clair Shores man who reportedly jumped from a moving boat into Lake St. Clair the evening of July 8 was found safe and uninjured after a late-night search, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office reports.

According to a press release, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a woman at approximately 8:10 p.m.

The woman, a friend of the man, told deputies that the man had invited her out on the boat to go drinking. She said the two spent most of the day on the lake and stopped at a restaurant to eat. Upon leaving the restaurant, the woman requested the man take her back to shore, the press release states.

The woman believed the man became upset, because she said he then left the captain’s seat while the boat was moving and jumped into the lake. The woman contacted 911 and stated that the man had jumped overboard, and that she was unable to get the boat stopped and was unfamiliar with Lake St. Clair. 

The release states that Marine Division deputies located the 40-foot boat, were able to get onboard and safely bring the boat to a stop. Both the woman and the boat were taken to shore. Members of the Marine Division and the Macomb County Dive Team began to search for the man approximately 2 1/2 miles from the Clinton River. 

At approximately 1 a.m., a Marine Division deputy was approached by a man in a boat who informed them he was the man they were looking for. The man explained that he had fallen overboard and swam to Strawberry Island. Unable to locate anyone on the island, the man stated he commandeered a boat and drove to the emergency boats on the water. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

Sgt. Renee Yax confirmed the Sheriff’s Office will not be seeking any criminal charges.

“He did not intend to steal (the boat), he was trying to obtain help,” she stated.

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