Marquette Water Rescue Drill

Marquette’s public forum on how to prevent more drownings starts at 6:30 tonght.

But this morning, local agencies hit the water to practice what they’ll do if there’s another drowning incident this summer.

This time, the emergency at Picnic Rocks was a simulated one — a water rescue drill.

All the agencies that would be involved in a water rescue and recovery took part — the Coast Guard, city police and fire, city and county dive teams, city lifeguards and EMS workers, among many others.

Marquette Fire Chief Tom Belt says it’s time well spent, as they try to cut down what the response time would be in a water emergency.

It only took their combined efforts a few minutes to rescue a dummy that was partially afloat.

But they needed more than an hour to get another that was fully submerged out of the water.

Marquette Police Capt. Blake Rieboldt says he hopes exercises like this alert people, especially visitors, to the dangers that the Lake Superior shoreline can pose.

He harbors those hopes especially for visitors because all three of the drowning victims from the past three weeks were from outside the area.