MARQUETTE — Rescuers in Marquette County responded to two separate incidents of stranded kayakers Tuesday.
Fire fighters in Marquette had to rappel down a cliff late Tuesday night to rescue two stranded kayakers in Lake Superior. Responders from the Marquette City Fire Department say they were sent to the Black Rocks area of Presque Isle shortly before midnight to rescue two men who had flipped their kayaks.
The men swam to a rock near the shoreline but remained stranded. Fire fighters rappelled fifty feet down to the victims, where they found them to be mildly hypothermic but stable. They were placed in rescue harnesses and raised to safety. The two were evaluated at the scene by UP Health System – Marquette and then released.
The Marquette Police Department and U.S. Coast Guard also assisted at the scene.
Shortly before 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, deputies from the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office say they were responded to a capsized kayak and a distressed woman in the water on Bass Lake East in Gwinn.
Police say 57-year-old Susan Lafreniere was kayaking with another person when her vessel overturned. She was unable to re-enter the kayak or swim to shore due to high waves. Her fellow kayaker got to shore within a couple hours and was able to call 911.
Rescue personnel pulled Lafreniere out using a boat. Police say the personal flotation device Lafreniere was wearing contributed to saving her life.
Forsyth Fire and EMS, the DNR, Marquette County Rescue 131, and the Marquette County Sheriff’s Dive Team also assisted with that incident.
The Sheriff’s Office recommends that those who enjoy kayaking be familiar with their equipment, learn how to upright a kayak in case it does flip, know the weather conditions, and always wear a life jacket.