Public Safety and Coast Guard coordinate to rescue teen from lake

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 7, 2017

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — A teen who experienced car trouble had to be rescued after he and his vehicle ended up in Lake St. Clair.

Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Director John Schulte said by email that while the 16-year-old male driver was traveling north on Lake Shore Road near Clairview Road, he experienced a tire blowout on the Ford Flex he was driving at around 1:15 p.m. Feb. 25.

The vehicle drove over the curb and grass for a bit before lurching into the lake, where it finally came to a stop roughly 50 feet from the shore. The driver was able to escape from the vehicle — which was in water about 5 feet to 6 feet deep — and climb onto the vehicle’s roof, which was where officers saw him when they arrived on the scene after getting a 911 call.

Schulte said officers on the scene spoke with the driver and told him that help was on the way, and the U.S. Coast Guard soon arrived and used an inflatable boat to rescue the victim, who was transported to nearby St. John Hospital and Medical Center “in good condition.” Schulte said that police didn’t believe, at press time, that alcohol or any other substances played a role in the accident.

“The Coast Guard was quick to respond and did an excellent job,” Schulte said by email. “I am so proud of the leadership and the great work from my officers at this scene, keeping the victim calm, preparing for any possible dynamic that could occur and reassuring him that help was on the way.”

Schulte said that the Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety Department responded to the scene as well, sending officers and medics.

“I’m also very grateful to Grosse Pointe Farms for their assistance with this rescue,” he said by email. “They are a great mutual aid partner.”

Schulte said no officers or others were injured during the rescue effort.